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FBAR protocol.

FBAR protocol.

Old Aug 22nd 2012, 9:37 pm
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Default FBAR protocol.

When filing the FBAR in June how do I report on each account.

For instance. Say £50k is in my current account (1). I put 20k into a savings account (2), and transfer 20k to a foreign account (3).

If I report those three accounts the maximum in each for the year is:

(1) 50k
(2) 20k
(3) 20k

Which seems to show 90k instead of the original 50.

I know this must be a dumb question, but how is it filed? Do I have to differentiate somehow, and show transfers. I thought it was a simple case of just the maximum amount seen in each account.

Ta.
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Old Aug 23rd 2012, 1:58 am
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

Originally Posted by cappedup View Post
If I report those three accounts the maximum in each for the year is:

(1) 50k / (2) 20k / (3) 20k

Which seems to show 90k instead of the original 50.

I know this must be a dumb question, but how is it filed? Do I have to differentiate somehow, and show transfers. I thought it was a simple case of just the maximum amount seen in each account.
That is how it's filed - as far as I understand anyway. Yes, the sum is higher than it really was but you aren't taxed on your balances anyway. I guess you could include a note that you have moved money between accounts and the maximum total over the year was $X but I haven't bothered and so far The Man seems happy. Of course they have plenty of time to decide to audit me after all...

My (way too expensive) tax consultant seemed happy too.
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Old Aug 23rd 2012, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

Ok, So I just look a back through the accounts and report the highest amount in each for the year?

I'm guessing if any further inspection/investigation is performed then the actual details will be discovered or worked out.

I've ommitted to file last years, which was thrown up by a meeting with (a way too expensive) accountant. I dont think I'm alone to now have the panic and worry of being penalised for the error.

The amounts are relatively small. 15k maximum, which is why I was wondering about the apparant inflated amounts by the reporting system.

Any experience with filing late and what generally happens?

[/opens self up to criticism and a textual flaying!]
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Old Aug 23rd 2012, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

Originally Posted by cappedup View Post
Ok, So I just look a back through the accounts and report the highest amount in each for the year?
That's what I did anyway, and it seemed to match what the consultant and forms asked for. Things get much more interesting if you've been a US tax resident for part of the year only (dual status filing) or if you have accounts where the "value" isn't clear.

... or when you were using online statements only, they disappeared in the system after six months, and you start doing your tax returns in March...

My theory is that the filings are there for three reasons: First, to try to unearth any big tax avoiders - for example, if you have hundreds of thousands of investments and have not reported any gains something is probably wrong. Second, to act as a reminder for people to report their interest income etc. And third, to make sure the authorities can nail you with something if you don't file properly.

That's my conspiracy theory anyway and I'm sticking to it. At least until I get audited!
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Old Aug 23rd 2012, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

I have one bank account here in Hong Kong that has multiple 'balances'. For example my one bank account number is tied to:

HKD Savings
HKD Current
RMB Savings
USD Savings
GBP Savings
JPY Savings

I wasn't sure if I needed to report the separate 'balances' as if they were different accounts, or just report the overall 'account' that was tied to my bank account number. To be clear: I have only one (1) bank account number.

So I wrote to the IRS. I asked if I need to report the overall balance in this one account number or if I needed to treat the separate balances as separate accounts. They wrote back:

"Dear Sir or Madam:
Please show the one account number on your FBAR form and the maximum value of the account for the calendar year."

Not sure if that helps, as this was specific to HSBC's setup here in HK where one account number had multiple balances.

I think if I had separate bank account numbers for each I'd report the maximum value, eventhough it might be the same actual money moving across those accounts (acct 1-->acct 2) which would make it look as if you had more money than you did.
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Old Aug 26th 2012, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

Ok, cheers for the responses. It sounds like it isnt as straightforward as I thought, and that my question wasnt that dumb after all.

I have 2 accounts with HSBC but they do have seperate numbers. Although the only way for money to get into my savings account is through the current account. And the only way for money to get into my foreign account is through the current account.

Any other thoughts?
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Old Aug 28th 2012, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

Originally Posted by cappedup View Post
Ok, cheers for the responses. It sounds like it isnt as straightforward as I thought, and that my question wasnt that dumb after all.

I have 2 accounts with HSBC but they do have seperate numbers. Although the only way for money to get into my savings account is through the current account. And the only way for money to get into my foreign account is through the current account.

Any other thoughts?
I would report the maximum in each of the accounts as they have separate account numbers, even though all the money has to go through the checking account.

When I was audited (under the voluntary disclosure programme) they did knock out the funds that had come in through my checking account into my savings as they said it was already counted.

In the grand scheme of things though I would report the accounts and max amounts separately along with the interest and you should be covered. If they audit you at some point it will all become clear and as long as you are reporting it all, you'll be fine. Chances are you'll never get audited on it anyway but best to list it out separately than get audited and have them on your case for not listing all of the account numbers you have signatory authority on.
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Old Aug 29th 2012, 1:34 am
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

Originally Posted by cappedup View Post
Ok, cheers for the responses. It sounds like it isnt as straightforward as I thought, and that my question wasnt that dumb after all.

I have 2 accounts with HSBC but they do have seperate numbers. Although the only way for money to get into my savings account is through the current account. And the only way for money to get into my foreign account is through the current account.

Any other thoughts?
If the current account and the foreign account have a separate number, I'd report them both.

Is the number significantly different, or is just like a last -01, -02 added at the end?
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Old Aug 29th 2012, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: FBAR protocol.

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
If the current account and the foreign account have a separate number, I'd report them both.

Is the number significantly different, or is just like a last -01, -02 added at the end?
Each account has a seperate account number, significantly different to each other. I have two accounts with HSBC and one with a French bank.

The numbers arnt massive. Reporting each accounts highest ammount shows something like $20, instead of the more realistic $12k.

Thanks for the replies.
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