I have a 401(k) plan in the United Kingdom. Do I have to file a Report of Foreign Banks and Financial Accounts (FBAR)?

by Leon J. Dutkiewicz Jr., CPA | Feb 03, 2014
askacpaiconI have a 401(k) plan in the United Kingdom with $35,000 in it. It is managed by a UK firm on behalf of my employer, which is a U.S. company. The investments are all in British pounds. Do I have to file an FBAR Form TD F-90-22.1 for the tax year 2013?

Generally, 401(k) plans are U.S.-based retirement plans and not UK pension plans. Therefore, these accounts would be deemed U.S. accounts and not foreign accounts, so they would not be subject to the FBAR reporting.   

Secondarily, in the Instructions to the FinCen Report 114 (FBAR) on page 49, the last paragraph specifically excludes “participants in, and beneficiaries of, tax-qualified retirement plans.” And since a 401(k) plan is a tax qualified plan, it would be excluded.

Answer By: Leon J. Dutkiewicz Jr., CPA, is a partner with UK US Tax Services LLP in Pitman, N. J. 
The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
Financial FAQs

Search the most frequently asked finance and accounting questions and read the responses from PICPA members. Always consult a CPA before taking action.