What is the FBAR Filing Deadline?

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires all foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and certain non-financial entities to report the foreign assets held by their United States account holders to the United States Department of the Treasury (Department). Since 1973, the Bank Secrecy Act has required United States persons to report their foreign financial accounts to the Department via a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

Filing Deadline

The FBAR filing deadline was changed recently by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (Act). The new deadline for filing an FBAR is April 15. This change was made for the convenience of filers to coincide with the federal income tax filing season. In addition to the updated deadline, the Act also allows a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. FinCEN has put in place an automatic extension to October 15th.

Who Must File an FBAR?

As noted above, certain United States persons must report their foreign financial accounts and assets to the Department via an FBAR. However, not all United States persons holding foreign assets or accounts must file. Specifically, the following individuals are required to file an FBAR by the updated deadline:

  • Any United States person with signature authority over, or a financial interst in, at least one financial account located outside of the United States, the aggregate value of which exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year reported.

Who is a United States Person?

The FBAR reporting requirements apply to certain United States persons. For the purposes of FBAR reporting, United States persons are:

  • United States citizens;
  • United States residents;
  • Certain entities, including partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies that were organized or created under the law of the United States or in the United States; and
  • Estates or trusts created under the laws of the United States.

Exceptions to the FBAR Reporting Requirements

Exceptions exist to the FBAR reporting requirements. The following United States persons or foreign financial accounts are not required to report their foreign financial accounts and foreign assets to the Department via an FBAR:

  • Beneficiaries and owners of United States Individual Retirement Accounts;
  • Beneficiaries of, and participants in, tax-qualified retirement plans;
  • Certain foreign financial accounts owned jointly by spouses;
  • United States persons who are included in a consolidated FBAR;
  • Nostro/Correspondent accounts;
  • Foreign financial accounts that are owned by certain government entities;
  • Foreign financial accounts that are owned by certain international financial institutions;
  • Certain individuals with no financial interest in, but signature authority over, a foreign financial account;
  • Certain trust beneficiaries; and
  • Foreign financial accounts that are maintained in a United States military banking center.

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