FATCA: Form 8938 and foreign financial asset reporting

Form 8938 and foreign financial asset reporting

The IRS has posted the final version of the instructions for Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets (Rev. December 2014) for 2014.

Related content

These Form 8938 instructions [PDF 245 KB] note that beginning in 2014, an individual with a reportable interest in a Canadian Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) must file Form 8938 to report these assets because, also beginning in 2014, U.S. citizens and residents no longer report an RRSP or RRIF on Form 8891 (Form 8891 having been obsoleted).

Form 8938 is used to report specified foreign financial assets if the total value of all the specified foreign financial assets in which a taxpayer has an interest is more than the appropriate reporting threshold.

The final version of Form 8938 [PDF 166 KB] for 2014 was posted in December 2014, and that version differs from the 2013 version of Form 8938 in that the 2014 version includes the addition of a “Reserved” line for Parts V and VI, Line 7b.

FATCA implications

As explained on the IRS website, U.S. citizens, U.S. individual residents, and a very limited number of nonresident individuals who own certain foreign financial accounts or other offshore assets—i.e., specified foreign financial assets—must report these assets as follows:

  • Use Form 8938 to report these assets
  • Attach Form 8939 to the annual income tax return (typically Form 1040)

Taxpayers with a total value of specified foreign financial assets below a certain threshold do not file Form 8938:

  • If the total value is at or below $50,000 at the end of the tax year, there is no reporting requirement for the year, unless the total value was more than $75,000 at any time during the tax year.
  • The threshold is higher for individuals who live outside the United States.
  • Thresholds are different for married and single taxpayers.

Taxpayers who do not have to file an income tax return for the tax year do not have to file Form 8938, regardless of the value of their specified foreign financial assets.

Penalties apply for failure to file accurately.

In late 2014, final regulations (T.D. 9706) were issued concerning the requirement that individual taxpayers report to the IRS specified foreign financial assets for tax years beginning after March 18, 2010 (the date of enactment of the FATCA rules).

© 2016 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Connect with us


Request for proposal



KPMG's new digital platform

KPMG's new digital platform