Being a San Francisco-based CPA firm, we have many international tax clients. San Francisco and the whole San Francisco Bay area contain many, many residents who are first or second-generation immigrants. Often, many have business and financial interests overseas. Even many USA-born citizens will have foreign interests, as so many Bay Area businesses are international in scope. One question we get asked a lot concerns “FBAR Compliance.”
Official Government FBAR Resources
We answer those questions in great detail, one-on-one with our international tax clients. Every situation is unique, so you are encouraged to email or call us at 415.742.4249 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. However, here is a handly list of official government information resources on FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) compliance.
- Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) official IRS web page. This is the official IRS website for discussion FBAR issues. It has a handy link to the FBAR reference guide.
- FBAR Video. If you like video learning, here is an official IRS information video on FBAR by Rod Lundquist (Senior Program Analyst) and Samuel Berman (IRS Attorney, Small Business / Self-employed division). It’s a little dated; being produced in 2011, however.
- Department of the Treasury, FBAR website. Most useful if you are living abroad.
- Telephone numbers for FBAR and Title 31 help. You can just call 866-270-0733 if you are in the United State for FBAR assistance, or 313-234-6146 for callers outside of the USA. You can also email FBARquestions@irs.gov.
Going Beyond Official FBAR Information
Of course we all know how difficult it can be to deal with government agencies and official government institutions! The tax code itself is so complex that the average citizen cannot really comprehend it; most members of Congress pay someone to do their taxes, of course. Similarly, although these are good starting points for FBAR compliance, be aware that they will just scratch the surface and true compliance can be pretty complicated. And that’s not to mention legal ways to position your financial assets and income streams to minimize both USA and foreign taxes.
In those cases, of course, consult with your tax professional. We are experts in the FBAR area, and if you think you may be liable, feel free to reach out to us, directly.