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    asterixnb's Avatar
    asterixnb Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jun 22, 2012, 07:24 AM
    Does 10,000 threshold for FBAR apply to individuals filing jointly?
    My wife and I file taxes jointly in the US. And we have individual bank accounts in India.

    I had a question about whether the $10,000 threshold gets doubled for individuals filing jointly?
    A. Do I file FBAR if my overseas balances exceeded 10,000, and my wife files FBAR if her overseas balances exceeded $10,000?
    OR
    B. Do we file FBAR if the sum of our accounts put together exceeded $10,000 any time? For example, if I had $5,000 and my wife had $5,000.

    Thanks.
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
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    #2

    Jun 22, 2012, 07:51 AM
    The FBAR considers each person separately.

    Example One: You have two JOINT (your and your spouse) accounts, each which had a MAX balance of $5,000 ON THE SAME DATE, then you submit ONE FBAR under YOUR NAME, but you BOTH sign the form since they are joint accounts.

    Eample Two: You have just ONE SEPARATE under just your name for $5,000, and your wife has just ONE SEPARATE under just her name for $5,000, then NO FBAR is requited from either of you because neither of you meet the $10,000 threshold.

    Example Three: You have just ONE SEPARATE under just your name for $5,000, and your wife has just ONE SEPARATE under just her name for $5,000, AND you have a JOINT account that, on the same date as the separate accounts, has a balance of $6,000. In that case, you BOTH must submit SEPARATE FBARs. On your FBAR, you report your separate account and the joint account. On HER FBAR, she reports HER separate account and the JOINT account.

    If you decide you need professional help on this matter, email me at the email address in my profile.
    Dubdub's Avatar
    Dubdub Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jun 25, 2012, 12:52 PM
    Can you elaborate on example 2? I'd think that because the total of both individual accounts is 10K and the couple of is filing a joint return, there would be an obligation to declare 10K total amount for FBAR. I'm curious to know what you base your answer for example 2 on.
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
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    #4

    Jun 25, 2012, 01:28 PM
    There is no TRUE joint FBAR.

    Each married couples' assets are considered individually, with a JOINT account double-counting against each spouse's individual FBAR requirement (as noted in Example #3). Since, individually, each spouse's account do NOT exceed $10,000, NEITHER spouse is required to submit the FBAR.

    However, as noted in Example #1, the IRS conceded that it made NO sense to submit two separate FBARs that has the same account information under two separate names, which is why they allow just ONE FBAR signed by BOTH spouses.

    But that is allowed ONLY IF each spouse does NOT have a separate account that, when combined with the balance on the joint account, causes each individual spuse to exceed the $10,000 threshold.

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