What kinds of foreign financial accounts do I have to declare on my US expat tax return?

In general, any bank or financial account held in a bank located outside of the geographical boundaries of the United States is considered a foreign account, regardless of the nationality of the institution that holds the account.

According to the Treasury Department: “The term ‘financial account’ includes any bank, securities, securities derivatives or other financial instruments accounts. Such accounts generally also encompass any accounts in which the assets are held in a commingled fund, and the account owner holds an equity interest in the fund (including mutual funds).”

The term also means any savings, demand, checking, deposit, time deposit, or any other account (including debit card, prepaid credit card accounts, and many foreign pension/retirement accounts) maintained with a financial institution or other person engaged in the business of a financial institution.