Cross posted from RenounceUSCitizenship.
There are many firsts in life. These include graduations, weddings, and more.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that few U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. had ever heard of Mr. FBAR (until the mainstream media began educating people). One can’t file, what one has never heard of. That was until recently. Since the fall of 2011, the mainstream media has been educating U.S. citizens about U.S. tax compliance.
Tax and FBAR compliance is a priority for most U.S. citizens living outside the United States. The IRS has still NOT released the “compliance guidelines” that were promised when OVDI was reactivated in January of 2012. This is a major problem. By not coming forward with the promised guidelines, the IRS has become an obstacle to tax compliance. We are well into tax season. In any case, …
One of your most important firsts will be your first FBAR. You spent lots of time preparing for your other “firsts”. This “first” should be no different. Part of your preparation should be how to file those FBARs.
Unfiled FBARs are a “problem to be solved”. It used to be that one could only mail or courier them to Detroit. (It is likely that the avalanche of FBARs is providing employment in this economically depressed city – putting America back to work. Is this a “make work” project? Does a filed FBAR have value to the government? We do know that an unfiled FBAR is of great value to the government.) The good news is that it is now possible to file FBARs online. This means that you have a choice of either mail or online. There have been recent anecdotal comments on both options. You might find these comments to be of interest.
The above post discusses the implications of interacting with a person.
Bottom line: Nothing can be done with a human intervention
The above comment discusses the implications of interacting with a computer.
Bottom line: Things can be done automatically.
Here is a primer for first time FBAR filers.
Warning!! FBARs, 1040s and The Order of Filing: FBARs aside, there is also the issue of the 1040s. Consult with your tax adviser on the specific issue of whether your 1040s should have been filed (are in the system) before the FBARs are filed.
Here’s to building a scrapbook of wonderful memories!