FinCEN grants permanent automatic extensions for FBARs

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

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 taxpayers filing the form a six-month extension every year to Oct. 15 (which will be Oct. 16, 2017, because Oct. 15 is a Sunday). FinCEN explained that this six-month extension will be automatic each year and that taxpayers do not have to request extensions.

Section 2006(b)(11) of 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 to coincide with the due date for individual income tax returns. Before the change, the form was due on June 30, a date that did not coincide with any other individual income tax return deadline, and no extensions were allowed.

The Bank Secrecy Act, P.L. 91-508, and its regulations require FBAR reporting from “[e]ach United States person having a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, a bank, securities, or other financial account in a foreign country” (31 C.F.R. §1010.350(a)), if the aggregate maximum values in that person’s foreign accounts exceed $10,000 at any time during the calendar year (31 C.F.R. §1010.306(c)).

For more on FBAR filing requirements, see “Update on Foreign Financial Account Reporting,” The Tax Adviser, Dec. 2016.

Sally P. Schreiber (sschreiber@aicpa.org) is a JofA senior editor.

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