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U.S. citizens and residents (including individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates) who have a financial interest in or signature or other authority over any "financial accounts" in a foreign country are required to make a separate filing if the aggregate value of these accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2008. Filing requirements also apply to those with direct or indirect control over a foreign or domestic entity with foreign financial accounts, even if the taxpayer does not have foreign financial accounts of its own. Foreign "financial accounts" include a wide variety of items, such as but not limited to:
Because both persons with a financial interest and persons with signature authority are required to submit filings, a single account can require multiple filings. For example, a corporate-owned foreign account would require filings by the corporation and by the individual corporate officers with signature authority. Unfortunately, the rules do not permit one person to submit a filing on behalf of others.