The United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently reported an extension to the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) deadline. The agency, which oversees this form, notes the extension is the result of a misprint on the website that caused some confusion.

What was the misprint?

It appears the federal agency accidentally posted a notice on the website stating it had pushed the FBAR filing deadline back from October 15, 2020 to December 31, 2020. In actuality, it meant to say that certain taxpayers may qualify for an extension due to natural disasters. Those who qualified would receive the extension noted above.

The extension was not as meant as a blanket extension for all taxpayers.

What does this mean for taxpayers?

The agency recognized that the posting may have caused confusion and led taxpayers to fail to file their FBAR by the October 15 deadline. As such, they have agreed to extend the deadline for 2019 FBAR filings to October 31, 2020.

Do I need to file a FBAR?

The United States government requires taxpayers who have a financial interest, signature authority or any other authority over a financial account that is located outside of the United States to report the asset if it is valued at over $10,000 at any time during the tax year. There are some exceptions to this reporting requirement. Taxpayers who hold such assets in a foreign country within a military banking facility, for example, are generally not required to file an FBAR. Certain retirement accounts also qualify for an exception.

A failure to report the asset can result in serious consequences. As such, it is wise for those who think they may need to report foreign assets to seek legal counsel to discuss their options. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone are familiar with foreign asset reporting requirements and can provide guidance.