A Little IRS/Mas Hachnasa Dovetail

July 1, 2009

Yesterday was the last day to submit the FBAR (see http://muqata.blogspot.com/2009/06/us-citizens-in-israel-have-you-filed.html). I had heard a tiny bit about it over the past few weeks, maybe even got an email or two from a few friends, but there was certainly not enough buzz about it here in Israel (think 2008 US Presidential Elections) for me to actually look into it. But then I read the blog post I referred to earlier int his post, spoke to a neighbor, and decided I better file.

Now, first of all, I have a little experience filling out US tax type forms, as I’ve done some administrative work for a lawyer, so I’m familiar. And of course, as you know, I recently submitted an Israeli Hatzharat Hon assets declaration. I expected this FBAR to pretty much take the same info about my bank accounts and other accounts (like kupot pensia and hishtalmut) that my Hatzharat Hon did. And – I think I was right!

The form did not take 20 minutes as the “time burden” notice on it claimed, closer to an hour or two, but had I not submitted a Hatzharat Hon a month or so before, I would either have given up, or given that I was afraid of a $10K fine(!), I would have gone crazy.

An observation: if you really have your life in order, knowing your budget and sticking to it, documenting what needs to be documented, etc., then you don’t get surprised too much. In fact, you get happily surprised sometimes.
What do you think? Leave me a comment.