Americans Helping Americans Abroad

This table (below) shows the number of individual FBAR filings by year since 2001, to the extent that we have been able to unearth it. Because neither the U.S. Treasury nor the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is a part of the Treasury, routinely publishes FBAR data, nor do they normally respond to requests to provide it.

The result is that those interested in such data are left to trawl through public statements in which such numbers are sometimes given, which is what we did.

This table is, therefore, our attempt to compile the data, such as we were able to do. For reasons that aren’t usually clear, such data is often inconsistent with other leaked numbers.

Anyone with better data which they know to be correct is urged to share it with us, in order that we might use it to improve public understanding of these issues.

Note: Prior to 2009, FBAR filers were not required to report the exact amount of their account values, but to choose one of four ranges: below $10,000; between $10,000 and $100,000; between $100,000 and $1 million; and above $1 million.

Also: Data on FBARs reported by U.S.-based versus overseas-resident Americans may not be 100% accurate, owing to the unknown number of expats who file from U.S. addresses.

Individual FBARs Filed by Year

Year Total Number of FBARs Source
  Filed by Individuals U.S. Residents Non-U.S. Residents  

2001

131,000

   

Johannesen, Niels; P. Langetieg; D. Reck; M. Risch; and J. Slemrod; "Taxing Hidden Wealth," American Economic Journal, August 2020. [NB: this work was part of the IRS Statistics of Income Division's Joint Statistical Research Program]

2008

247,000

150,000

97,000

Johannesen, et al.

2009

331,000

231,000

100,000

Johannesen, et al.

2010

       

2011

402,000

   

Johannesen, et al.

2012

807,040

   

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson in her 2013 Report to Congress

2013

       

2014

       

2015

929,123

720,259*

207,013*

2019 GAO Report, Table 7*

2016

949,510

743,091*

204,009*

2019 GAO Report, Table 7*

2017

       

2018

1,209,287

   

Federal Register

2019

1,331,415

   

FinCEN

2020

1,404,395

   

FinCEN

2021

 NA

     

*April, 2019 U.S. Government Accountability Office Report, “Foreign Asset Reporting: Actions needed to Enhance Compliance Efforts, Eliminate Overlapping Requirements, and Mitigate Burdens on U.S. persons Abroad”; data shown here excludes some very large accounts


This is one of four articles that comprise this AARO special report on FBARs.
To access the other three articles, see below:

  • Return to the main story of this special report, “The Foreign Bank Account Report (FinCEN Form 114) at 51”.
  • See a list of suggestions that certain FBAR experts have said could improve the way FinCEN implements the FBAR, in conjunction with similar IRS data-collection efforts.
  • See an “FBAR Timeline” that begins with the signing into law, in 1970, of the Bank Secrecy Act, by then-U.S. president Richard Nixon.