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New FBAR Filing Date and Extension

Written by Mary Lundstedt, Esq.

U.S. taxpayers with more than $10,000 in a foreign financial account at any time during the calendar year are required to report foreign financial interests on Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Since the financial crisis in 2008, the government has increased its attention to overseas tax evasion - resulting in increased FBAR enforcement. Timely filing is required to avoid steep penalties.

In the case of returns for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, the FBAR filing deadline now aligns with the federal tax return filing deadline. On July 31, 2015, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, P.L. 114-41, §2006(b)(11), changed the FBAR due date from June 30 to April 15.

Additionally, the Act provided a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline; previously, no such extension was allowed. Initially, the FinCEN did not explain the procedure for obtaining this extension - leaving taxpayers confused. Recently, the FinCEN clarified that, as part of the implementation of the new filing date, it will automatically grant the six-month extension to all taxpayers. Since October 15, 2017, is a Sunday, this means taxpayers have until October 16, 2017, to file.

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