Form 8938 Basics

Form 8938 is a form that you might need to fill out if you have certain financial assets located outside of the United States. If you’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien, you’ll need to file this form if you have foreign financial assets that exceed certain dollar amounts. This includes things like foreign bank accounts, stocks, and securities, and interests in foreign entities.

So, if you have a bank account in Canada, for example, and the balance in that account is over $10,000 at any point during the year, you would need to file Form 8938. The same goes for any other foreign financial assets you might have.

Filing this form is important because if you don’t, you could face some pretty steep penalties. You could be hit with a $10,000 penalty just for failing to disclose the assets, and that amount could go up if you continue to not report them. In some cases, you could even face criminal penalties, like jail time.

So, if you think you might need to file Form 8938, it’s a good idea to talk to a tax professional or do some research to make sure you’re complying with all the necessary reporting requirements.

Usual Disclaimer: This is not formal tax advice. I’m not your CPA. It’s possible, or dare I say even probable, that the comments and opinions expressed here contain material errors, or that important stuff has been left out or glossed over. Don’t use this info to make important decisions. Hire a pro to help you.