FBARs get automatic extensions
The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that, to implement the new due date for FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), of April 15 (April 18 for 2017), it will automatically grant all filers a six-month extension every year to Oct. 15 (Oct. 16 for 2017). Filers do not have to request the extension.
The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, P.L. 114-41, changed the due date of FBARs to April 15 (effective for reports due in 2017 for accounts or financial interests during 2016), with the possibility of a six-month extension, to coincide with the due date for individual income tax returns. Previously, the form was due on June 30, and no extensions were generally allowed.
Also, as it has done repeatedly since 2011, FinCEN in a separate announcement further delayed, until April 15, 2018, FBAR reporting for certain individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, foreign financial accounts.
Eligibility rule waiver extended for tangible property regs. automatic method changes
In Notice 2017-6, the IRS modified Rev. Proc. 2016-29 to extend for one year, to tax years beginning before Jan. 1, 2017, its period of waiver, for purposes of making certain accounting method changes related to the final tangible property regulations (T.D. 9636) and final depreciation and disposition regulations (T.D. 9689), of the rule of Section 5 of Rev. Proc. 2015-13 that otherwise generally forbids taxpayers from using the automatic method change procedures with respect to the same item for a second time within five tax years.
Standard mileage rates for 2017
The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle dropped slightly in 2017, to 53.5 cents per mile, a half-cent lower than in 2016 (Notice 2016-79). The rate for medical or moving purposes is unchanged at 17 cents per mile, as is the statutory rate of 14 cents per mile for service to a charitable organization. Meanwhile, the portion of the business rate that is treated as depreciation went up by a penny, to 25 cents per mile.