Foreign Account Tax Compliance On the Rise

A record number of US taxpayers are coming into compliance with their foreign filing requirements, with 1,163,229 Forms 114 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR) filed for 2015---an 8 percent increase from 2014. FBAR filings have increased at an average rate of 17 percent per year for the last five years.

FBARs can be filed electronically with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCen. Taxpayers with foreign account balances exceeding certain threshholds are required to file FBARs as part of their foreign reporting requirements.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA") resulted in another requirement for some taxpayers, the filing of Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. Taxpayers filed over 300,000 of these forms with their tax returns in 2014.

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