Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Help with Reporting Offshore Accounts Foreign Bank Account Report FBAR Form 90-22.1

The IRS FBAR and Title 31 Helpline connects practitioners and filers, both domestic and abroad, with a team of specially trained technicians, examiners and specialists to answer technical Title 31 questions

To reach the FBAR and Title 31 Helpline, dial:
• 866-270-0733 for callers within the U.S. (toll-free)
• 313-234-6146 for callers outside the U.S. (not toll-free)

Hours of operation for the FBAR and Title 31 Helpline are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern time. An IRS employee will respond to messages left after-hours.

The FBAR and Title 31 Helpline team answers questions related to reports required by the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, such as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (commonly known as the FBAR) and reports filed by money services businesses. The Helpline team can also assist with other Title 31 technical issues and BSA correspondence.

If you go to the IRS website link,http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=148845,00.html, you will find helpful questions and answers about this form. Below are some examples of the posted Q&As on the IRS website.

Q. What is an FBAR?
A. An FBAR is a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. The form number is TD F 90-22.1 (PDF).

Q. Who must file an FBAR?
A. Any United States person who has a financial interest in or signature authority or other authority over any financial account in a foreign country, if the aggregate value of these accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. See also Notice 2010-23.

Q. What is a foreign country?
A. A “foreign country” includes all geographical areas outside the United States, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories and possessions of the United States (including Guam, American Samoa, and the United States Virgin Islands).

Q. What is a United States person?
A. “United States person” includes a citizen or resident of the United States, a domestic partnership, a domestic corporation, and a domestic estate or trust. See Announcement 2010-16.

Q. Is a single-member LLC, which is a disregarded entity for U.S. tax purposes, a United States person for FBAR purposes?
A. Yes, the tax rules concerning disregarded entities do not apply with respect to the FBAR reporting requirement. FBARs are required under Title 31, not under any provisions

For specific questions you can send  an inquiry to FBARquestions@irs.gov.

The IRS has issued a reminder concerning its FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) and Title 31 Helpline that puts practitioners and filers, both domestic and abroad, together with a team of specially trained technicians, examiners and specialists to answer technical Title 31 questions. The helpline personnel answer questions related to reports required by the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) of ’70, such as the FBAR and reports filed by money services businesses. They can also assist with other Title 31 technical issues and BSA correspondence, IRS said.

By Debra Callicutt, CPA