Podcast: In FBAR We “Trust” Part 1 – Obligations Attaching To A Trust Itself


This is the first of a series of four posts exploring some of the more difficult and “interesting” areas of (possible) FBAR obligations.This first post explains the FBAR filing obligations of trusts. The second post explains when individuals may have to file an FBAR because of their relationship to a trust. The third post explains how/why one may be required to file an FBAR based on control of an account rather than ownership of the account. The fourth post continues the discussion of when beneficial ownership without legal ownership triggers an FBAR obligation. The four posts are based on Podcasts with US tax lawyer Virginia La Torre Jeker.

Podcast 1: February 23, 2002FBAR Obligations Attaching To A Trust

Podcast 2: March 4, 2022FBAR Obligations Attaching To People Because Of Their Relationship To A Trust

Podcast 3: May 25, 2022Looking For Mr. FBAR – A New Sighting – ”exercised control over and had access to the account”

Podcast 4: September 29, 2022When ”Beneficial Ownership” Constitutes A Financial Interest And Triggers An FBAR Requirement

Podcast 3: May 22, 2022 – When FBAR Obligations May Attach Without Signing Authority Over An Account

Podcast 1

February 23, 2022 – Participants Include:

Virginia La Torre Jeker – @VLJeker

John Richardson – @Expatriationlaw

Prologue – Report Early! Report Often! Report Everything! Keep A Record Of What You Report!

In October of 2018, Virginia and I went “Looking For Mr. FBAR.” During the last three years we have uncovered many clues, we have learned many things, but it’s clear that we have not yet located Mr. FBAR. Virginia has written about many of her “sightings” in a series of “FBAR posts“. I have also written a number of posts documenting the various adventures of Mr. FBAR.

Mr. FBAR is elusive. He is is simultaneously not anywhere, but everywhere. There is no weapon in the US arsenal of forms that has created such fear and uncertainty. He has even threatened certain visitors to the United States for the failure to file an FBAR.

Legal Authorization

The statutory authorization for Mr. FBAR is found in 5314 of the Bank Secrecy Act. Most of the substantive law is found in FBAR Treasury Regulations and the IRS FBAR instructions. It’s important to note that Mr. FBAR lives in Title 31 (Bank Secrecy Act) which is different from Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code).

Mr. FBAR And The Filing Obligations Of Trusts

This podcast is a discussion of how Mr. FBAR impacts “trusts”. When is a trust a United States person? When must a trust file an FBAR to report the “financial accounts” of a related purpose of entity?

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