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.
United States 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 (see 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, and 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 “Regulators Extend FBAR Filing Deadline for Certain Financial Professionals”).
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 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, providing 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.”