The annual deadline for filing Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (commonly known as the “FBAR” form) is fast approaching. Any U.S. taxpayer with a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, a foreign financial account (which includes bank, security and other types of financial accounts) is required to file the FBAR form if the aggregate value of the account (or accounts) exceeds $10,000 at any time during the 2012 calendar year, subject to certain exceptions. The FBAR filing deadline is normally June 30, but because June 30 falls on a Sunday this year, the actual deadline is Friday, June 28, 2013. No extensions of time to file the FBAR are available and it is considered timely filed only when it is actually received by the Treasury Department’s service center located in Detroit, Michigan, and not when it is mailed. Significant criminal and civil penalties may be imposed for the failure to timely file an FBAR.
The FBAR may be filed electronically through the BSA E-Filing System. Starting July 1, 2013, the FBAR must be filed electronically.
Taxpayers who are not compliant with their prior year FBAR filing obligations may wish to take advantage of the Internal Revenue Service’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), an amnesty program designed to encourage U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed foreign bank accounts to come into compliance with U.S. tax laws and avoid criminal prosecution. This program permits eligible taxpayers with undisclosed foreign bank accounts, and unreported income associated with those accounts, to avoid criminal prosecution in return for the payment of back taxes, interest, and penalties. To date, nearly 40,000 U.S. taxpayers have taken advantage of the offshore voluntary disclosure programs offered by the IRS since 2009. Currently, there is no deadline for participation in the OVDP, although the IRS has stated that it could end the program, or modify its terms, at any time.