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Filing FBAR as a US expat abroad - 2022 Guide to fill out your yearly report for free!

The US requires their citizens to file taxes and an FBAR, even if they are no longer residents and live abroad. In addition, they require residents to file it if they have signification foreign holdings.

What is the FBAR? 

It is the Report of Foreign Bank & Financial Accounts. The FBAR has been around since 1970; and it is in the hands of the Federal Crimes Enforcement Network. While many people associate the FBAR with taxes and the IRS, it is a separate entity and process altogether. The only major connection is the deadline happens to be on the same date. 

Do I need to file the FBAR? 

The US requires their citizens to file taxes and an FBAR, even if they are no longer reside there (you live abroad). In addition, the government requires residents to file it if they have signification foreign holdings ($10,000 or more). Their justification is so the US government to know that people are not involved in any financial fraud abroad. 

When you are a US citizen and sign up for a bank account in a foreign country (with a US tax treaty), 99% of the time they will also have you fill out a W9, bring your US identification and store your social security number. These countries often collaborate and share information with each other anyways. That is why you should be filing the FBAR, because if they find out that you have met the minimum threshold but didn't file you will be penalized. 

How to file:

The FBAR is more straightforward than taxes and can be done by yourself in a matter of minutes (if you have 1 or 2 bank accounts). No lawyer, tax preparer, or accountant is necessary for most cases. 

If you hold or have access to multiple accounts, each requires their own "form", click plus on the relevant page for how many accounts you have of that type. Now you will need to write each one in it's own page (not aggregated into a single one). 

If you hold or have access to multiple accounts, each requires their own "form", click plus on the relevant page for how many accounts you have of that type. Now you will need to write each one in it's own page (not aggregated into a single one)

If the aggregate value of those foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year reported, you are required to fill out the FBAR. 

The exchange rate is based on the 12th month (December) at the 31st day of that year, you can download the spreadsheet from the Treasury. There is too much information that isn't necessary... All you need to do is: make sure you are at the right date 12/31/YEAR, then do a find all for your selected currency. and write that down/save it for your conversions later. 

Alternatively, I compiled a list here which will make your life way easier: 

For people residing in Israel, I already did the work and this is the exchange rate (official) as of 12/31/2021. FBAR and taxes are reporting for the prior year, so even though it's 2022... the report is only in relation to the 2021 fiscal year.

on 12/31/2021, the Israel-Shekel was at the rate of 3.099 for every 1 US dollar.

This means that a single dollar was worth 3.099 shekels at that time. This is the exchange rate that you will be calculating your account balance with. 

For Bank Hapoalim, you can get a report of the yearly transactions here:


For Bank Hapoalim, you can get a report of the yearly transactions here:

and make sure to take the highest balance at that time.
I copied that data into excel, then ran this simple formula to find the max value in dollars I had throughout the whole year! 

=MAX(E:E)/3.099 (make sure to round it up to the next whole dollar). It will return only the maximum value in your balance). 

Some banks do not have this format, and you may have to get reports or speak to your branch for assistance. 

E is the column with the balance and 3.099 is the exchange rate! If you are using another currency, please change it accordingly. 

When the form asks for your phone number, you can put in your country code without + or hyphens or spaces... Mine is in this format 97258xxxzzzz. Where 972 is the country code. 
For your ZIP code, if you are in Israel please refer to this guide... the FBAR will allow you to enter the full 7 digit one
You should also enter a valid email which you will get a confirmation and then a copy of the form! 

Note that the due date is April 15th of each year (like tax day), but there is an extension for citizens abroad (till October), please confirm that this is still valid each year before holding off... which isn't advised as there can be a penalty (around $10,000 and can face jailtime) for not submitting an FBAR or even for submitting one late. 

Lastly, here is the link to file your FBAR


Also, I have a discount to file taxes via TaxAct (20% off over here)! 

Disclaimer: This isn't financial or legal advice. 

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