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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ~ Been lurking about this forum collecting info for a while and basically almost ready to play catch-up reporting on my FBARS and 1040s over past years.

Have been in Canada since '04 and meeting all the CDN tax reporting requirements since then.

On the subject of FBAR reporting, I've noted that people include cover letters explaining their reason for filing now, for the first time.

But, I've also read that FBAR reporting can be done online, and my be the preferred way of going about it.

Is there provision with the online interface to include a 'cover letter' so to speak?

If not, does anyone have any experiences/thoughts to share on the wisdom of loading up a number of back-year FBARS through their website without a cover letter?

Thanks in advance for any advice or comments!

cr
 

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I've moved you into a thread of your own to try and attract a few more replies.

Tried to get into the online filing site for the FBARs and never succeeded, so I don't know if they have the ability to back file or not. Frankly, I doubt there is any ability to add a note or message to the online filing, but I could be wrong about that.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I've moved you into a thread of your own to try and attract a few more replies.

Tried to get into the online filing site for the FBARs and never succeeded, so I don't know if they have the ability to back file or not. Frankly, I doubt there is any ability to add a note or message to the online filing, but I could be wrong about that.
Cheers,
Bev
Bev, you could ring their helpline. Daphne was quite helpful. On the online form, you can fill in different years and amend the fbars already submitted. They also have a way you can send messages.

My only concern with all this is that they will probably in future be more likely to audit filers so it will be essential to have one's records completely available because they can easily ask people to uload them via this system. It will be easier but also almost Orwellian.
 

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Bev, you could ring their helpline. Daphne was quite helpful. On the online form, you can fill in different years and amend the fbars already submitted. They also have a way you can send messages.

My only concern with all this is that they will probably in future be more likely to audit filers so it will be essential to have one's records completely available because they can easily ask people to uload them via this system. It will be easier but also almost Orwellian.
Too late - I just stuck a stamp on it and mailed it in.

But don't get too concerned about the "Orwellian" aspects of the online filing. They've been pushing e-filing for years now and I haven't heard of too many dire consequences. (Of course I'm not eligible to e-file my returns, either - stuck in a limbo age group that can't qualify for a free e-file.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that info Mona Lisa ... I guess that pretty much covers all the necessary bases for filing online.

Somewhere else I read that it produced a 'receipt' for filing online, I think that's a handy extra that may or may not show up with snail-mail filings.

Online or not, if they want to audit and demand records, whether uploaded or mailed, they will, and I don't think it will matter – everything ends up on some computer database eventually.

Thanks again ... cr


Bev, you could ring their helpline. Daphne was quite helpful. On the online form, you can fill in different years and amend the fbars already submitted. They also have a way you can send messages.

My only concern with all this is that they will probably in future be more likely to audit filers so it will be essential to have one's records completely available because they can easily ask people to uload them via this system. It will be easier but also almost Orwellian.
 

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I had over 25 acccounts but they only ask you to list the number of accounts if over 25 but would imagiine they ight want to know why I had so many and what they held.
 

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Just a warning from what my accountant has been told by another specialist preparer: that an expat based in the UK who filed online fbars including delinquent ones from earlier years has been hit with late fbar fines (possibly computer-generated) and will need to get a lawyer involved to try and get the penalties lifted. Obviously the new online filing system is making the Dept of Treasury's job that much easier.

I think filing for 2011 forward is easier via online because it produces the prized acknowledgement of receipt but if filing for past years, safer to use snail mail accompanied by a letter pleading reasonable cause...
 

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Even if you send it in by paper, it does ultimately get uploaded into their system. So why would it matter if you send it electronically or by paper ? The only difference might be that inaccuracies in transcribing are less likely if you send it by paper. Sending electronically might give them the documents faster, but it shouldn't make much of a difference in terms of who is picked out for audit.
 

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Even if you send it in by paper, it does ultimately get uploaded into their system. So why would it matter if you send it electronically or by paper ? The only difference might be that inaccuracies in transcribing are less likely if you send it by paper. Sending electronically might give them the documents faster, but it shouldn't make much of a difference in terms of who is picked out for audit.
I suspect that their computers automatically issued a penalty notice.
 
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