Question: Zoe is the child of Theo and Camille. All three have bank accounts in the foreign country where Camille grew up. The parents have been adding to Zoe’s bank account every year, and the bank account now exceeds $10,000. Zoe is not required to file a Form 1040, U.S. Individual Tax Return. Because Zoe is a minor with no income tax filing requirements, Theo and Camille came to you asking if they can report Zoe’s foreign bank account on their own Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR, FinCEN Form 114) filed. What do you tell them?
Answer: No. Theo and Camile cannot include Zoe’s bank account on their own FBAR filing. Zoe is not personally exempt from FBAR filing requirements and is responsible to file an FBAR regardless of age. If a child’s age prevents them from filing and signing their own FBAR for any reason, the child’s parent, guardian, or legally responsible person must file and sign it on the child’s behalf.
The FBAR online instructions clearly state that regardless of age or capacity, a U.S. child is not excused from their FBAR filing obligation if the child meets the filing requirements. If the parent electronically signs for the child’s FBAR, in Item 45, Filer Title, enter “Parent/Guardian filing for child.”
Information included in this article is accurate as of the publish date. This post is not reflective of tax law changes or IRS guidance that may have occurred after the date of publishing. All taxpayer circumstances are different, and NATP recommends contacting research services if you have specific questions about your clients’ tax situations.