Last week the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) again extended the deadline for certain financial professionals to file foreign bank accounting reporting forms known as FBARs. In FinCEN Notice 2017-1, FinCEN announced a further extension of time for certain FBAR filings in light of proposed rules issued on March 10, 2016. Specifically, one of the proposed amendments would expand and clarify the exemptions for certain U.S. persons with signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts. This proposed amendment seeks to address questions raised regarding the filing requirement and its application to the individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, certain types of accounts as outlined in FinCEN Notice 2016-1.
The FBAR is a calendar year report ending December 31 of the reportable year. Beginning with the 2016 tax year, the due date for FBAR reporting is April 15 of the year following the December 31 report ending date. In addition, if an individual or entity does not file their FBAR by April 15 they will receive an automatic extension of six months to October 15 of the same calendar year.
On December 16, 2016, FinCEN issued Notice 2016-1 to extend the FBAR filing date for certain individuals with signature authority over but no financial interest in one or more foreign financial accounts to April 15, 2018. In the past five years, FinCEN has issued identical extensions that applied to similarly situated individuals. On May 31, 2011, FinCEN issued Notice 2011-1 (revised on June 2, 2011), to extend to June 30, 2012, the due date for filing the FBAR, for certain individuals with signature authority over but no financial interest in one or more foreign financial accounts, specifically individuals whose FBAR filing requirements may be affected by the signature authority filing exemption in 31 CFR § 1010.350(f)(2)(i)-(v). On June 17, 2011, FinCEN issued Notice 2011-2 similarly extending the FBAR filing due date to June 30, 2012, for certain employees or officers of investment advisers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission who have signature authority over but no financial interest in certain foreign financial accounts. On February 14, 2012, FinCEN further extended the FBAR due date to June 30, 2013 via FinCEN Notice 2012-1, for filers that met the requirements of Notice 2011-1 or 2011-2. FinCEN has provided identical extensions each year since then.
As noted in these previous Notices, FinCEN received questions that required additional consideration with respect to the exemptions addressed in these Notices. As stated above, the proposed amendments in the NPRM seek to address these exemptions. Because the proposal is not yet finalized, FinCEN is further extending the filing due date to April 15, 2019, for individuals whose filing due date for reporting signature authority was previously extended by Notice 2016-1.
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