FinCEN Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a bureau of the Treasury Department. Authorized under the Bank Secrecy Act, foreign bank account reporting commonly referred to as “FBAR” is electronically reported to the IRS via FinCen Form 114 separate and distinct from filing a US income tax return.
U.S. taxpayers with financial Interest or signatory authority over foreign financial accounts be it in banks, investment brokerage accounts, mutual funds, pension plans or other financial accounts with aggregate balances over $10,000 on any day during the calendar year must ELECTRONICALLY file FinCEN Form 114 (FBAR) using the BSA E-Filing Systems Website.
Special Note regarding FBAR - Beginning for reporting year 2016, FBAR due date will be April 15th, 2017 but extensions will be allowed.
Many taxpayers are confused understanding the nuanced difference between an FBAR filing (FinCEN Form 114) and Foreign Financial Asset Reporting (FATCA) - Form 8938.
For those folks I draw your attention to the following link worth reading -> Form-8938-and-FBAR-Requirements Comparison FinCEN Form 114 and Form 8938.
For example foreign stock or securities NOT held in a financial account AND foreign partnership interests need to be reported to the IRS via IRS Form 8938 but are not reported to the US Treasury via FinCEN Form 114 or otherwise.
The penalties are also different as well. You absolutely must check the requirements and relevant reporting thresholds of each form and determine if you should file Form 8938 or FinCEN Form 114, or both.