Ines Zemelman, EA 15-Sep-14
Moving back to the United States from a foreign country may give US expats the impression that they no longer have to file FBAR and FATCA forms, but this may not be the case.
When you have been living in a foreign country as a US Expat, you have most likely become accustomed to reporting your foreign financial accounts on the old Form TD F 90-22.1 (replaced by the new online form, FinCEN Form 114). You may also have had to report your foreign assets on FATCA Form 8938.
When you move back to the United States, you may still be required to file these forms – especially if you plan on keeping your foreign assets as they are. It’s important to recognize, too, that your filing requirements for FATCA Form 8938 will change when you are no longer a US Expat living abroad.
Your requirement to file FBAR (Foreign Bank Accounts Report) on FinCEN Form 114 will remain the same if you keep your foreign financial accounts active.
First of all, it’s important to realize that if you close your foreign financial accounts, you will still need to report their existence from the previous year if the balance exceeded $10K at any time during the calendar year. The $10K threshold applies to all accounts combined. If you closed your foreign financial accounts this year before you moved back to the United States, you will still need to file FinCEN Form 114 by April 15 of next year. If you no longer have foreign financial accounts, you will not need to file this form in subsequent years.
The reporting threshold for your foreign assets will change drastically, so it’s important for you to be aware of your filing requirements for FATCA Form 8938 as an American living in the United States with foreign assets.
As a US Expat living and working overseas, you have a very high reporting threshold for foreign assets. In order for you to be required to file FATCA Form 8938, your assets need to be worth at least $200K at the end of the year or have reached $300K at any time during the calendar year.
As an American Citizen living in the United States, your reporting threshold for foreign assets is much lower. If your foreign assets are worth $50K or more at the end of the year or reached $75K at any point during the calendar year, you will be required to file FATCA Form 8938. Form 8938 is filed with your US income tax return.