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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't filed a return since 2008 since I thought my gross income was under the required amount for filing.Received a letter requesting tax form for 2009 as I had a CD that matured and they could not determine if it was income. After calling the IRS, they told me 2006 and 2010 were flagged and suggested sending them.
I have no problem as there was no tax for those years but after just finding out about the FBAR and never reporting my Thai bank interest and checking no to FBAR in 2007and 2008,it makes it complicated as I had no idea about FBAR or reporting overseas bank interest.
Do you think it would be better to add in the Thai bank interest for the years they are reqesting as I never entered it in any returns and also send past fbars going back to 2006.
Thanks for your advice and suggestions.
 

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Under normal circumstances (i.e. you just found out about your filing requirement) I wouldn't bother. But given that your returns have been flagged, it wouldn't hurt to file the past FBARs and it might help if you amended at least the 2010 return to include the Thai interest.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Might not have to do anything

I haven't filed a return since 2008 since I thought my gross income was under the required amount for filing.Received a letter requesting tax form for 2009 as I had a CD that matured and they could not determine if it was income. After calling the IRS, they told me 2006 and 2010 were flagged and suggested sending them.
I have no problem as there was no tax for those years but after just finding out about the FBAR and never reporting my Thai bank interest and checking no to FBAR in 2007and 2008,it makes it complicated as I had no idea about FBAR or reporting overseas bank interest.
Do you think it would be better to add in the Thai bank interest for the years they are reqesting as I never entered it in any returns and also send past fbars going back to 2006.
Thanks for your advice and suggestions.
Search IRS FBAR on google and click on IRS link.
I can't post the url since I'm new.

A U.S. person is:

A citizen or resident of the United States, or
Any domestic legal entity such as a partnership, corporation, estate or trust.

Who is required to report their foreign accounts to the government, and how do they do so? The Bank Secrecy Act requires U.S. persons who own a foreign bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, unit trust, or other financial account to file a Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Authority (FBAR), if:

The person has financial interest in, signature authority, or other authority over one or more accounts in a foreign country, and
The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

Depends on how much loot you had...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you check "no", do you think it will be criminal intent -- If you explain it's the way you've always done it, based on a misperception from years past. Do you think they would be interested in developing countries with low interest rates?
 

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If you check "no", do you think it will be criminal intent -- If you explain it's the way you've always done it, based on a misperception from years past. Do you think they would be interested in developing countries with low interest rates?
The FBAR form (Form TD F 90-22.1) has nothing to do with the interest you do or don't receive on the accounts. What they are looking for is a simple listing of your "financial accounts" as defined in the instructions. If your foreign accounts total $10,000 or more then checking "no" on the bottom of a Schedule B will potentially get you in lots of trouble.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The other part of the definition to look out for is "at any time during the year." Temporary balance increases for big payments on houses, cars, investments, etc. frequently trip the reporting threshold without people realizing it.

There really is no harm in reporting it because it is just a disclosure of the bank account and saying how much income the account made.
 

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I am new to this, so bear with me!
Have been stressed to the max since learning only one week ago about FBAR filing requirements.
I have never had earned income and my unearned income has always been below 2500, so I have never filed a 1040 since 30 years!!
Now I want to get up to speed with everything required, but would like to know if I should file FBAR from the last 5 years with a cover letter on each...or just wait for the IRS to contact me.
I will file one for 2011 so to get that in on time. All income that has been generated is through my non-us person husband, and I don't want to risk his money .
I call the irs each year to ask if I need to file, they go through their standard questions and determine that I am donot have to file since I have so little income. and this year was the first I heard of the (dreaded) FBAR.
Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks!
 

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I am new to this, so bear with me!
Have been stressed to the max since learning only one week ago about FBAR filing requirements.
I have never had earned income and my unearned income has always been below 2500, so I have never filed a 1040 since 30 years!!
Now I want to get up to speed with everything required, but would like to know if I should file FBAR from the last 5 years with a cover letter on each...or just wait for the IRS to contact me.
I will file one for 2011 so to get that in on time. All income that has been generated is through my non-us person husband, and I don't want to risk his money .
I call the irs each year to ask if I need to file, they go through their standard questions and determine that I am donot have to file since I have so little income. and this year was the first I heard of the (dreaded) FBAR.
Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks!
The filing threshold for "married, filing separately" (i.e. because your husband isn't subject to US tax filings) is something over $3000, so you're ok on not having filed in 30 years.

You only need to file FBARs if you have foreign bank or other financial accounts totaling $10,000 or more. I assume you're only thinking of filing FBARs due to having your name on joint accounts with your husband. If that's the case, I'd just file the FBAR for 2011. List your accounts in the section for accounts held jointly and where it asks for the identifying information on the joint owner of the account, just put "NRA spouse." No name, no social security number.

If they have a question or want back filings, they'll come back to you - but with so little income and nothing but joint accounts, it's unlikely they'll bother. What you want to show them is that you aren't hiding anything, and that you'll answer whatever questions they may have that come up.

The FBARs for 2011 aren't due until the end of June, so get this year's in on a timely basis and you should be ok.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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further help-spousal rrsp

Hi Bev
Thanks for the clarification, even the IRS couldn’t tell me what to write regarding my NRA spouse.(but they did say he didnot have to sign it)
Next question, in regards to spousal rrsp and the 1040 and form 8891. I have had one spousal rrsp for 10 years, and one spousal rrsp for 13 years but donot know if I should now fill out a 1040 for 2011 and attach form 8891. Since having never filed a 1040, I would not have made an election under Article XVIII of the income tax treaty.
Both RRSPS brought in 1,500 dollars in interest in 2011. It is difficult to understand if I am to report this unearned spousal rrsp income on a 1040/form 8891, and of course, do I have to file 1040’s for all those other years, just because of the 2 rrsp’s(or wait for the IRS to ask first)!
Thanks for your help!!
P.
 

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The RRSP is declared on form 8891 by the person who is contributing to it. So that would be your husband. So if he is Canadian, you have nothing to file.

When you start to withdraw funds after retirement, that money will be taxable/reportable by you.
 

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If your spouse is not a US citizen or greencard holder, then it should be fairly easy because you probably had $0 US income tax liability. Depending on your income, you probably won't have to file very few income tax returns, if any. Just make sure you take the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign tax credits.
 

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Thanks, I am still struggling to find an answer to the canadian spousal rrsp question:
do I include the interest earned on the 3 spousal rrsps that I own in determining my unearned income? trying to find an answer to this has been impossible, since the irs is not clear on what a spousal rrsp is, and that I am the beneficiary, and none of it, including the (minimal) interest will be withdrawn anytime soon.
Also, listing it on the FBAR seems off somehow, he is NRA spouse, but the spousal rrsp has my name on it, but in reality he controls it, could even change the beneficiary without me knowing , so it seems incorrect to list it on the FBAR.
Thanks for any help anyone has!!!
 

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Regarding the RRSP accounts, file Form 8891 and check box 6c to elect to defer taxation on RRSP accounts. Then you do not need to include the income from the accounts on your tax return until the amounts are distributed at retirement.

However, you will have to declare the accounts on Form 90-22.1 as foreign bank accounts.
 

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Regarding the RRSP accounts, file Form 8891 and check box 6c to elect to defer taxation on RRSP accounts. Then you do not need to include the income from the accounts on your tax return until the amounts are distributed at retirement.

However, you will have to declare the accounts on Form 90-22.1 as foreign bank accounts.
This sounds like the best approach. Form 90-22.1 is the FBAR form - and don't forget the FBAR form is only an informational form, not a tax form. Better to list an account or two too many (in good faith) than to appear to be withholding information.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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1040 and unearned income

Thanks for the help, I will send the 8891 with the 1040, and will not include the interest earned on the RRSPs, but I have some unearned income (interest) on a savings account, so should I just enter that?
Thanks again
P.
 

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Thanks for the help, I will send the 8891 with the 1040, and will not include the interest earned on the RRSPs, but I have some unearned income (interest) on a savings account, so should I just enter that?
Thanks again
P.
Yes, you're expected to report all worldwide income, which includes savings account interest. Chances are, the personal exemption and standard deduction will reduce your taxable income to 0 and you'll owe no (or very little) tax. But you are supposed to report it.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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ITIN and non resident spouse

Hi Bev
Thanks for the clarification, even the IRS couldn’t tell me what to write regarding my NRA spouse.(but they did say he didnot have to sign it)
!!
P.
I also have a NRA spouse. Live abroad never worked in US. Spouse has absolutely no connections to US (never lived there, no green card etc)

I always thought it was absolutely incredible that we would have to get an ITIN for spouse as the 1040 seems to make you think.

I have a paid tax preparer (US CPA) and a tax lawyer who is helping with my renunciation.

Both of them just said to write in the spouses name and in the ITIN section write "non-resident alien".

That is what I have been doing for years; I don't know if the new electronic filing perhaps disallows this.

The consensus was from my preparers, that the IRS does ask for things that it actually has no right to demand such as a foreigners identity, who does not live work in the US or have any US source income.
 

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I also have a NRA spouse. Live abroad never worked in US. Spouse has absolutely no connections to US (never lived there, no green card etc)

I always thought it was absolutely incredible that we would have to get an ITIN for spouse as the 1040 seems to make you think.

I have a paid tax preparer (US CPA) and a tax lawyer who is helping with my renunciation.

Both of them just said to write in the spouses name and in the ITIN section write "non-resident alien".

That is what I have been doing for years; I don't know if the new electronic filing perhaps disallows this.

The consensus was from my preparers, that the IRS does ask for things that it actually has no right to demand such as a foreigners identity, who does not live work in the US or have any US source income.
I don't even write in my NRA spouse's name - just "NRA" in the "spouse" line and where it asks for a SS# or ITIN.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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fbar help

i need to ask a question to anyone that can help me. here is the situation..i am canadian with no american status whatsoever. my wife is an american citizen and a canadian permanent resident. i have what i have been told is a REGULAR rrsp account and NOT a spousal rrsp account. it is completely in my name and my wife has no access to it....she also has no authority to
contribute to the fund. i am the annuitor and the contributor to the account. on both of those boxes on my annual contribution slip, it has my social insurance number only....her social insurance number or social security number does not appear in either of these boxes...just my social insurance number does. however , she is listed as the beneficiary of my rrsp account. my question is...does she need to file an fbar or any other irs form for this account? the balance in the account is approx 80,000 dollars. i have been told that she does not have to file any irs documents for this account because it is not a spousal rrsp account.it is a regular rrsp account. she does not have the ability to control funds in the account or contribute to the funds in the account. can someone on here verify for me that this is true? please get back to me as soon as you can.

sincerely
tim
 

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i need to ask a question to anyone that can help me. here is the situation..i am canadian with no american status whatsoever. my wife is an american citizen and a canadian permanent resident. i have what i have been told is a REGULAR rrsp account and NOT a spousal rrsp account. it is completely in my name and my wife has no access to it....she also has no authority to
contribute to the fund. i am the annuitor and the contributor to the account. on both of those boxes on my annual contribution slip, it has my social insurance number only....her social insurance number or social security number does not appear in either of these boxes...just my social insurance number does. however , she is listed as the beneficiary of my rrsp account. my question is...does she need to file an fbar or any other irs form for this account? the balance in the account is approx 80,000 dollars. i have been told that she does not have to file any irs documents for this account because it is not a spousal rrsp account.it is a regular rrsp account. she does not have the ability to control funds in the account or contribute to the funds in the account. can someone on here verify for me that this is true? please get back to me as soon as you can.

sincerely
tim
Personally, I wouldn't bother filing anything. For FBAR purposes, she doesn't have "signature authority" over it, so it doesn't seem to warrant FBAR disclosure. For FATCA, the threshold for filing is $200,000 for those living outside the US, so unless she has total reportable accounts that exceed that threshold amount, I'd just forget about it.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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