Filing Deadline for Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is April 15th
With April 15th only a few weeks away, we’d like to remind taxpayers with foreign bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, trusts or other types of foreign financial accounts – you may be required to report the account to the Department of Treasury, even if the accounts produce no taxable income. Failure to do so could result in hefty penalties, and nobody likes those!
New Due Date for FBARs
The new annual due date for filing an FBAR for foreign financial accounts is April 15th, 2019. This date change was mandated by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 to coincide with the federal income tax filing season.
The Act also mandates a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. To implement the statute with minimal burden to the public, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR annual due date of April 15th an automatic extension to October 15th each year. To that end, specific requests for this extension are not necessary.
Do I Need to File an FBAR?
United States taxpayers are required to file an FBAR if both of the following criteria are met:
You had a financial interest in, or signature authority over, at least one financial account located outside of the United States; AND
The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year reported.
The FBAR filing requirement includes U.S. citizens, residents, trusts, estates, corporations, partnerships or limited liability companies created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States. Exceptions to the FBAR reporting requirements can be found in the FBAR instructions.
Reporting and Filing Information
A person who holds a foreign financial account may have a reporting obligation even when the account produces no taxable income. The reporting obligation is met by answering questions on a tax return about foreign accounts (for example, the questions about foreign accounts on Form 1040 Schedule B) and by filing an FBAR.
The FBAR is a calendar year report and must be filed electronically through FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System on or before April 15th of the year following the calendar year being reported. Failing to properly file an FBAR could result in significant penalties.
If you need assistance filing your FBAR before April 15th or have questions about whether or not you’re required to file, please CONTACT US right away. We know how stressful this time of year can be and are here to help!