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Discussion Starter #1
Situation:
  • Found out about the whole OVDI/FBAR BS recently.
  • Didn't join OVDI.
  • Bank doesn't have any statements from old US$ term deposits or CAD$ GICs so I have no record of them even though I know they existed (don't remember how much but I know I had at least one US$ term deposit for which there is no record in 2009)
  • I have a TFSA for which I have all records
  • I have always had under $50,000 in total (this is important in order to get reduced late filing fees according to the Internal Revenue Manual); but, if a certain sum of money went into repeated monthly term deposits or got transferred between multiple bank accounts, and is counted each time, this could end up being pushed over $50k.
Questions:
  • How do I fill out old FBARs when I know that my bank records from 2009 and earlier are incomplete?
  • Are there special forms to fill out for US$ term deposits, CAD$ GICs, or a CAD$ TFSA?
  • What's everyone doing about it appearing as if they had more money than in reality due to money being moved between accounts?
Thanks everyone for any help! The really long thread about this stuff has been helpful as well.
 

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Questions:
  • How do I fill out old FBARs when I know that my bank records from 2009 and earlier are incomplete?
  • Are there special forms to fill out for US$ term deposits, CAD$ GICs, or a CAD$ TFSA?
  • What's everyone doing about it appearing as if they had more money than in reality due to money being moved between accounts?
As long as you have the bank account numbers, include a good faith estimate of the high balance of the account during the year.

The main thing is the FBAR forms - report your holdings there. I'm not familiar with the type of accounts you indicate, but the main thing is to make sure you disclose them. If there are further forms to fill out, the IRS will get back to you. But they can't say you failed to disclose.

Don't worry about moving money between the accounts. You're certainly not the only one to have done so. If and when the IRS comes back to ask about it, then you tell them that you moved the same $X between your 5 accounts during the year - so while you report 5 different high balances of $X, you didn't actually have 5 times $X but only $X. But chances are, they won't ask.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I'm not familiar with the type of accounts you indicate, but the main thing is to make sure you disclose them. If there are further forms to fill out, the IRS will get back to you. But they can't say you failed to disclose.


Cheers,
Bev
Bev, FYI, A Canadian GIC is like a US CD, it is after-tax money invested at a known rate for a specified period of time.
TFSA is Tax Free Savings Account. You deposit up to $5K after-tax annually in the account, invest it as you will, and neither withdrawals nor investment income will be taxed by Canada. A nice complement to other savings accounts like the RRSP.
 

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Bevdeforges gave you excellent advice. The actual form you want is TD F 90-22.1 (you can google it to get a PDF). Make sure you pay attention to the headings at the top of the pages, as each page is actually for different kinds of accounts.

I just went through all of this yesterday. I'm afraid that if you had money in an account for just a second, that's still a second too long and you have to report it. The good news is that you are allowed to include a letter along with your filing, so you can explain if, for example, the money being reported is the same but just being transferred back and forth.

Remember that you must file in USD, as calculated based on the end of year exchange rates posted on fms.treas.gov/intn.html (it says so in the instructions for the form). The website is often down, but keep trying. 2010 is up there, but you have to e-mail the addresses on the site to get historic information.

Good luck!
 
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