IRS Issues Last-Minute FBAR Filing Reminder

With the June 30 deadline to file the FBAR form fast approaching, the IRS issued another reminder to taxpayers with bank accounts located outside of the United States. The IRS noted that during 2014, the total number of FBAR filers exceeded one million for the first time in history. Taxpayers with foreign bank accounts should take care to comply with their FBAR filing obligations, as hefty civil and criminal penalties can apply to non-compliant taxpayers.  The June 30 deadline cannot be extended, and the FBAR form must be filed electronically.

Here is the text of the latest FBAR press release issued by the IRS:

WASHINGTON—The Internal Revenue Service today reminded everyone who has one or more bank or financial accounts located outside the United States, or signature authority over such accounts that they may need to file an FBAR by next Tuesday, June 30.

FBAR refers to Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, which must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the Treasury Department. It is not a tax form and cannot be filed with the IRS. The form must be filed electronically and is only available online through the BSA E-Filing System website.

In general, the filing requirement applies to anyone who had an interest in, or signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2014. Because of this threshold, the IRS encourages taxpayers with foreign assets, even relatively small ones, to check if this filing requirement applies to them.

FBAR filings have surged in recent years, topping the one-million mark for the first time during calendar-year 2014. The FBAR requirement is separate from the requirement to report specified foreign financial assets on a U.S. income tax return using Form 8938. A brief comparison of the two filing requirements is available on IRS.gov.

For more on filing requirements for the FBAR, see Current FBAR Guidance on IRS.gov. The IRS has also produced a free one-hour webinar explaining the FBAR requirement.

Blank Rome’s FBAR and FATCA Compliance Team regularly advises taxpayers as to foreign bank account reporting obligations, the IRS voluntary disclosure programs, and FATCA compliance.

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