Do I Need FBAR’s?


I’m an American, living in Canada, with my Canadian husband. A few years ago I received an inheritance from some US family. The estate dealt with all of the tax stuff, and then payments were distributed to all of us. My portion went into my husband’s Canadian bank account, and has stayed there ever since.

I’m now thinking of transferring the money to my own Canadian bank account, but just read about FBAR’s, and am now worried. Should I have been filing FBAR’s this whole time? What about penalties?


Based on what you’ve detailed here, it is generally going to come down to one simple issue:

Did you have signing authority on your husband’s account?

I’ll assume here that you don’t, in which case you are fine. On the other hand, if it were a joint account (Again, the assumption is that if it were a joint account, you would have specified this) then yes, technically you need to file an FBAR for any accounts over $10,000 that you have signing authority on.

Once you have made the transfer from your husband’s account to yours, then yes you will need to start the FBAR reporting.

Usual Disclaimer: This information is for general information purposes only, and deals with complicated and time-sensitive info that may not apply to your situation. Tax rules are always changing, and this information may not be current. Tax is complicated, this information is not tax advice, and don’t rely on this info to make tax decisions – Hire someone to help you.