Tax Basics

fbar expats

FBAR Filing Deadline Change for Expats in 2017

February 17, 2017 : Mohit Sandhu – The Tax Institute

A new year brings new tax laws and regulations. And for U.S. citizens living abroad, or expatriates “expats”, these individuals with substantial assets held overseas have to keep abreast of these changes as much as anyone else. In fact, 2017 brings major changes for individuals who must file certain documents related to international income and assets, as well as FBAR filing deadline changes.

Report of Foreign Band and Financial Accounts (FBAR): The New FBAR Filing Deadline

If you’re required to file an FBAR, the filing deadline has been moved up two-and-a-half months. In prior years, the return was not due until June 30. However, due to tax legislation, the general deadline for this form is April 15, 2017. For FBARs covering the 2016 calendar year, the deadline will be April 18, 2017 due to a conflict with a holiday in Washington D.C.

Note: The FBAR filing deadline is permanently moved to the conventional tax day – on or near April 15.

An expat is required to an FBAR if their total aggregate balance of foreign financial assets on any given day exceeds $10,000. The typical accounts held overseas are:

  • Your bank
  • Investments
  • Retirement accounts

Remember: this threshold applies to all accounts you own separately and jointly, as well as accounts which you may not own or have a financial interest in, but do have signature authority over. An example of the latter includes bank accounts that you are in charge of at your place of employment or through a business in which you hold interest.

Expat Income Tax Returns

The deadline for expats to file an individual return is generally June 15, 2017. This is because expats generally qualify for an automatic-two month filing extension from the standard April 18, 2017 deadline.

However, expats are still required to pay any tax due by April 18, 2017, even if they plan on filing their return by June 15. If you don’t pay taxes due by April 18, 2017 the IRS won’t assess a failure to pay penalty if you file and pay by June 15, 2017. However, you’ll be charged interest on the unpaid amount.

It is always best to start your tax filing as soon as possible, even if you are still missing a document or two. Many expats start the filing process later on in the filing season, so getting in the door early can expedite your virtual tax filing experience. Expat taxes, including FBAR Filing deadlines and general income returns can get tricky, which is why you should let the pros help. To get your tax filing started, contact H&R Block Expat Tax Services today.

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Mohit Sandhu – The Tax Institute

Mohit Sandhu – The Tax Institute

H&R Block

Mohitindervir Sandhu, JD, is a senior tax research analyst at The Tax Institute. Mohitindervir leads a research team focused on international tax issues.

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