What's an FBAR?

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
July 19 2012 3:34 PM

Needed: Offshore Bank Account Reporting Acronym Reform

Related to the possibility that Mitt Romney doesn't want to release his taxes because he fears further disclosure around his Swiss bank account, I suspect we're all going to hear a lot more in the next few days about the timing of his filing of FBARs and the fact that he hasn't released them even for the period when he has released his main income tax return.

What's an FBAR? Well it's a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts form that you're supposed to send to the IRS if you have offshore accounts.

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But how did they get from "Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts" to "FBAR"? I understand that "FBAR" is quasi-prounceable and "RFBFA" isn't, but wouldn't it have been simpler to just call the form a Foreign Bank Account Report?

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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