I and my wife are non-resident aliens. In March 2018, I opened a bank account in India (worth ~$14700). Does this need to be reported this year itself on FBAR or next year (April 15, 2019)?
Apparently, my wife had a bank account which is worth ~$35,000 but this was not reported in the previous year. As she was not operating the account (her uncle in India is the custodian of the gift account set for her over a decade back), we were not aware of the actual value of the account. What options we have to file the FBAR for my wife for last year and the previous years (I am going to talk to the uncle to find more details on when the account was opened etc.). If I find that tax was not paid in previous years, what options do we have? As apparently, the account had been open for over a decade (I believe), I am concerned about the tax implications. I want to make sure that I fix this issue ASAP. Your assistance is highly appreciated.
You say this account has a custodian. That usually indicates that the beneficiary of the account does not have physical control of or access to the money. If your wife had physical control of the funds in 2017, then a FBAR needs to be filed for 2017. This is true even if that "access" to the funds was possible through the custodian. You may also need to amend your 2017 tax return (if already filed) to report this "foreign asset" to the IRS, if it wasn't resported on the originally filed return.
Otherwise, if your wife did not have access to or control of the funds in 2017, then it was not yet "gifted" to her, and need not be reported at all.
Thank you very much! The money is not given to my wife yet. It is still in the account with the custodian (uncle) though the account is in the name of my wife. Sorry, I meant to say that we are resident aliens (green card holders).
green card holders
Good thing you clarified that.
For your wife's account, until you and/or your wife has control of that money, it's not hers yet, and doesn't need to be reported.
In March 2018, I opened a bank account in India (worth ~$14700).
You will report that on the 2018 tax return, and file FBAR also.