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Americans living abroad must file FBAR if they have foreign bank account balances that meet or exceed $10,000 at any point during a calendar year. But, when you have an FBAR joint account with a non-US citizen, how does that impact your FBAR filing? Learn the situations when you would need to include your spouse’s accounts and when you would not.
The FBAR or Financial Center Form 114 is required for any US person or entity that has a financial interest or signing authority over foreign financial accounts where the aggregate value is over $10,000 at any point during the year. For this definition, the US person can be a citizen, a green-card holder, a US resident, a corporation, a partnership, an LLC, so it’s not specifically a person. If you think you might fall afoul of this or if you aren’t sure if you’re required to file an FBAR, we highly recommend speaking to a professional.
If your spouse falls into one of these categories, they’re a US person, a resident, a green-card holder, or a citizen, and they have access or signing authority over foreign financial accounts with over $10,000, then, yes, they have to file an FBAR.
There’s an exception for jointly-owned accounts, spousal accounts, and if your spouse meets all of the following requirements, then you don’t have to file a separate FBAR for them. These requirements are:
If you meet all of these, then you can file all of your joint FBAR accounts on one form. If you don’t meet all of these, then you have to file two separate FBARs, even if you have to report some of the same financial accounts.
In these cases, you don’t have to report their foreign financial accounts if you don’t have signing authority over them. So if your spouse is not a US person and they own financial accounts, bank accounts, brokerage accounts overseas that you don’t have access to, that you don’t have signing authority over, then those accounts do not need to be reported.
Our experienced accountants can help you if you have an FBAR joint account with a non-US citizen. Contact us to get started!
Use our simple excel calculator to get an estimate of how the foreign earned income exclusion will save you money. It will make your day!