IRS and FinCEN Extend FBAR Deadlines for Certain Filers

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.


From the IRS

The IRS has further extended the deadline for certain persons to file Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), for 2009 and earlier years (Notice 2011-54). The new filing deadline is November 1, 2011. The extension applies to persons with signature authority over a foreign financial account but no financial interest in the account.

U.S. persons with a financial interest in, or signature authority over, any financial accounts (including bank, securities, or other types of financial accounts) in a foreign country must file an FBAR if the aggregate value of these accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

The IRS had previously extended the filing deadline for persons with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, a foreign financial account for 2009 and earlier years to June 30, 2011 (Notices 2009-62 and 2010-23). However, the IRS has been informed that affected individuals are having trouble compiling the necessary information needed to file FBARs for those years, so the deadline is being extended to November 1, 2011.

The extension applies only to FBARs for 2009 or earlier years; the FBAR deadline for reporting financial accounts for 2010 remains June 30, 2011 (except in certain limited cases; see below).

The IRS cautions that the extension does not affect the requirement to provide information or file FBARs in connection with the 2009 or 2011 offshore voluntary disclosure initiatives and does not alter the deadline for electing to participate in those initiatives.

In a May 31, 2011, comment letter, the AICPA requested that Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) eliminate or reduce the FBAR filing requirement for 2009 and prior years for persons with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, a foreign bank or financial account. As alternatives to complete waiver, the AICPA made recommendations to:

  • Limit the prior-year FBAR filings to 2008 and 2009.
  • Conform the due date for the deferred FBARs to that of the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, which is August 31, 2011, giving these affected individuals a little more time to file the prior-year FBARs.
  • Provide a hardship exception or waiver for those persons who had signatory authority in the prior year(s) but no longer have reasonable access to account data maintained by a former employer or similar circumstances.

According to Michelle Koroghlanian, technical manager–tax for the AICPA, “The additional time to file provided by today’s IRS notice is a welcome relief. It shows that the AICPA’s advocacy efforts are being heard and considered by the government.”

FinCEN Extends FBAR Filing Deadline for Certain Financial Professionals

In June, FinCEN announced that three small groups of individuals will receive a one-year FBAR extension beyond the June 30, 2011, filing deadline.

FinCEN Notice 2011-1 extends the deadline until June 30, 2012, for these individuals:

  • An employee or officer of a regulated entity (as specified in the FBAR regulations) who has signature or other authority over and no financial interest in a foreign financial account of another entity more than 50% owned, directly or indirectly, by the regulated entity (a controlled person).
  • An employee or officer of a controlled person of a regulated entity (as specified in the FBAR regulations) who has signature or other authority over and no financial interest in a foreign financial account of the regulated entity, the controlled person, or another controlled person of the regulated entity.

In FinCEN Notice 2011-2, the FBAR deadline was extended until June 30, 2012, for “officers and employees of investment advisors registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission with signature or other authority over (but no financial interest in) the foreign financial accounts of persons that are not registered investment companies” under the Investment Company Act of 1940.

All other U.S. persons required to file an FBAR form this year were required to meet the original filing date.

Newsletter Articles

TAX ACCOUNTING

Should Small Businesses File Form 3115?

Small business taxpayers should be aware of the implications of adopting the tangible property regulations through the small business exception and, especially, that any change to this treatment must be made very soon.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

2015 Tax Software Survey

See how nearly 5,000 paid CPA tax preparers rated the strengths and weakness of major tax preparation software products they used in 2015.