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E-Filing FBAR: Practicalities, Part 2

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 5:50 AM

E-filing your FBAR

Well, it's easy - you just go online and fill in the form and file it.


Not exactly.

I decided it was time to get graphically clear about this 'online filing' of the FBAR form - after hearing from a client today that he was having great luck with it, but it was rather odd that it did not ask for the bank names or account numbers.  Well, who knows where he was, but he was not doing the work of e-filing his FBAR form.

Since I went through this process just the other day, myself, I can tell you that it is also not as lovingly transparent as the standard even-claiming-to-be-averagely smart adult can manage.

I clicked and clicked before realizing it was trying to prevent me from opening the form online.  And the point of that would be?  That it does not want you to open up the form online!

First, you download it, then you fill it out, then you submit it - and e-sign it also.

Therefore, I am adding Part 2 of this blog post, which goes like this:

As to your FBAR of course it will have to list the bank names and account numbers. Also the names of any joint account holders. Also lots of addresses - real street addresses ideally. And even the names of persons whose accounts you have access to - all of them that you have access to. All the foreign bank accounts, securities accounts, this type of thing.


Have you used the correct link? This is currently the link: http://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov/NoRegFBARFiler.html 

Now you are going to download the form to your computer.

You SHOULD download the form to your PC. 

Then close your browser and internet connection.

Then go find the form you just downloaded onto your PC.  

(This is a test: is the form on your PC where you told it to store it - or in what is now often called the "Downloads" folder?)  By the way, the form wants to call itself NFFBAR.  Go look for it on your computer. Offlne, that is.

Then open it and fill it out (without going online) and give it your own name and the year, for example, and put it in a folder you’ll recall. (Don't keep it named NFFBAR!)


Then you go back online and upload it by clicking through at the 'file FBAR box' (same link as above) and follow the instructions - and that includes 'signing it' by having to go back and forth to 1-2 screens.

Then you sign it online with a click on a box and screen.

Then you see a confirmation you should print.

You have to give a good e-mail address so the IRS can send you a confirmation of the filing by e-post.  That e-mail arrives soon enough, and will include a tracking number of some sort (government style, really long) which you should keep in case they want to look at it later and ask you for that number.

 Okay? Hope that helps,




Categories: Law Stuff, International Miscellaneous