(1) According to the FinCen's FBAR filing instructions,

"Any US person that has a financial interest in or signature authority over foreign financial accounts must file an FBAR..."

This implies that non-resident aliens are excluded from FBAR filing requirements.

(2) However, a LLC is considered an US person as stated in the same source.

"A person means an individual and legal entities including, but not limited to, a limited liability company..."

This implies that non-resident aliens, when member of an LLC, are required to file an FBAR, even without substantial presence in the US during the tax year in scope (negative SPT).

(3) Regarding single-member LLCs, the IRS states that

"An LLC with only one member is treated as an entity disregarded as separate from its owner for income tax purposes (but as a separate entity for purposes of employment tax and certain excise taxes)"

This is where the confusion starts.

Based on the above facts, it is unclear in which way a non-resident alien is required to file the FBAR when owning a single-member LLC.


1. Does the LLC owner file the FBAR as a person (i.e. non-resident alien), listing all his foreign accounts?

  • In this case, there is no SSN/ITIN/EIN involved. How would the IRS then reference this back to the LLC?
  • Worst case scenario is that the LLC violates its filing requirements and penalties are due.

2. Does the owner file the FBAR as LLC entity, referencing the LLC's EIN?

  • In this case, it is unclear if the LLC "has a financial interest in or signature authority over" the private foreign accounts of its owner, as the LLC is ONLY disregarded separate from its owner "for income tax purposes" and FBAR reporting is not connected to the LLC's income tax return (see above).

  • Again, worst case is that the LLC violates its filing requirements by not listing those accounts and penalties are due.

Do non-resident aliens with a single-member LLC file their FBAR on an individual level or on a LLC level, or both?

  • 1
    Although those instructions are linked from the IRS website, they are actually from FinCEN: notice the title and logo (which is not the IRS logo), and the URL host is www.fincen.gov -- and the filing (if you do so) is also to FinCEN not IRS. Personally to be safe I would report as the entity and let them decide whether to ignore it; since it's (now) online the only cost is a little time. Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 16:25


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