New FBAR Deadline is April 18th
By Jim Curtis, JD, Senior Manager – International Tax

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Attention U.S. persons with foreign financial accounts: your filing deadline has been moved up!

FinCEN 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, which is better known as the “FBAR,” is now due on April 18, 2017 for the 2016 calendar year.  The deadline has been moved up from the traditional June 30th deadline used in the past.  For 2016 FBARs only, extensions are automatic without having to file for an additional extension request.  The automatic extension is limited to a period of six months, making 2016 FBARs due no later than October 15, 2017.

What is an FBAR?

The FBAR is a disclosure of foreign bank and financial accounts which U.S. citizens, green card holders and tax residents must file with the U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  The FBAR must be filed electronically and is completely separate from the filing of income tax returns.  There is no taxable income effect from the filing of FBARs, but you must disclose the following for each foreign financial account:  the financial institution’s full name, address, the type of account, the specific account number and the maximum balance (in U.S. dollars) at any time during the calendar year.

Do I need to file an FBAR?

U.S. tax residents are required to file an FBAR form if they have a “financial interest” or “signatory authority” over financial accounts located outside of the U.S., where the aggregate value between all foreign accounts exceeds $10,000 or more at any time during a calendar year.

The FBAR instructions state that, “A financial account includes, but is not limited to, a securities, brokerage, savings, demand, checking, deposit, time deposit, or other account maintained with a financial institution (or other person performing the services of a financial institution). A financial account also includes a commodity futures or options account, an insurance policy with a cash value (such as a whole life insurance policy), an annuity policy with a cash value, and shares in a mutual fund or similar pooled fund (i.e., a fund that is available to the general public with a regular net asset value determination and regular redemptions).”

For FBAR filing purposes, a “person” includes individual, including children, and legal entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates.  Therefore, kids who have no requirement to file U.S. income tax returns, but who have foreign accounts under their names exceeding $10,000 in aggregate, must still electronically file FBARs.

 

There will be more information to come regarding the FBAR in our next series of posts.  In the meantime, for additional information, visit the latest FinCEN 114 form instructions here and contact Jim Curtis.

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