Do Children Need To File FBAR Forms?

Question:
My entire family moved from a foreign country to US during 2014. I have two children. They each had foreign accounts exceeding $10,000 during the year. One child left funds in a foreign account. The other child brought all the money to the US, so closed the account in Belgium and opened in the US. Do they need to file the FBAR forms?

Answer:
Yes, each child needs to file FBAR forms as they are considered US persons, held foreign financial accounts exceeding $10,000 at some point during the calendar year and do not meet any filing exceptions.

Please note that if the child cannot file their own FBAR form for any reason, the child’s parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. Furthermore, if the child cannot sign their own FBAR form, a parent or guardian must electronically sign the child’s FBAR. To do so, the filer would write in item 45 Filer Title “Parent/Guardian filing for child.”

It’s also important to keep in mind that if certain monetary thresholds are met and the child is required to file a tax return, the child may also be required to file Form 8938 – Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets.

References:
FBAR 114 Instructions
31 U.S.C. Section 5314 the United States Code

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