For the past few weeks, we have been looking at foreign account reporting requirements as they relate to the FBAR and Form 8938. This week, we will look at our final example: the fictional case of Susan, a professor who taught in Australia.

Susan is single and a U.S. citizen. She teaches at the college level and is highly regarded in the field of biology. Because of her esteemed position in the academic world, she was offered the opportunity to teach at an Australian university. She was excited by this opportunity to not only teach but also to closely study the Australian Outback. Susan spent several years working in Australia and developed close friendships with her colleagues. During this time, she also gained an Australian employer-controlled retirement plan. However, she ultimately decided that she needed to return to the United States. She was committed, though, to visiting Australia as often as possible, so she never closed the Australian bank account she maintained during her time living in Australia.

Back in the United States, Susan returned to academia, continuing to teach and study biology, never forgetting her time spent in Australia. When it comes time to report her foreign accounts, Susan finds that at the end of the calendar year, the balance in her Australian bank account is $13,000 USD, and her Australian employer-controlled retirement plan is $58,000 USD. In Susan’s case, the reporting thresholds are $10,000 for the FBAR and $50,000 for Form 8938. Therefore, she must file both of these forms.

We hope we have shed some light on some foreign reporting requirements with this series. If you have foreign accounts and need help figuring out the reporting requirements, our International Tax Group can help. Please call us today to schedule an appointment.