United States

New FBAR filing due date begins in 2017 and extensions will be permitted

TAX ALERT  | 

The Highway Funding Bill recently signed by President Obama contains provisions that modify the due dates for several returns including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs). Beginning with the 2016 calendar year FBARs, due in 2017, the due date for reporting will change from June 30 to April 15, matching the due date for filing individual income tax returns. While the due date for the 2015 calendar year FBARs remain June 30, 2016, the due date for subsequent calendar years changes to April 15.

This change seems reasonable given that the presence of different due dates for the FBAR and individual income tax returns often caused confusion for taxpayers. The bill also provides for an extension of time for filing FBARs, which currently is not permitted. The law affords an extension of up to six months to be available to all taxpayers, which coincides with the Oct. 15 extension due date for individual income tax returns. The bill further allows for penalty abatement for any taxpayer required to file an FBAR for the first time, who may have failed to file or to timely request an extension on their first-ever FBAR.

While the due dates for the FBAR and individual income tax returns now coincide, the method of filing FBARs has not changed. FBARs must be filed electronically through the FinCEN BSA E-Filing System. For additional guidance on your FBAR filing obligations, it is prudent to seek out advice from your tax advisor.

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