U.S. Financial Crimes Bureau Offers Online FBAR Filing

Posted by Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jul. 19 – The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCIN), a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department, issued an immediate release on July 18 announcing the availability of an electronic filing system that will accept Form TD F 90-22.1 – Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

As we reported last month, U.S. nationals who have financial interest in or signature authority over financial accounts – including bank, securities or other types of financial accounts – in a foreign country must file an FBAR form if the aggregate value of these financial accounts exceeds US$10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

To access the online FBAR form, please click here and follow the given instructions. Please note that although the instructions state that a spouse included as a joint owner must also sign the FBAR in Item 44, the online form is currently only able to accept one digital signature, so if an individual has a spouse included as a joint owner, each spouse must file a separate FBAR form.

It is also important to note that the recent July 18 press release only addresses how qualifying FBARs may now be filed and does not change or alter the original deadline or subsequent extension clarifications.

The due date for the 2010 calendar year was June 30, 2011, however U.S. executives that missed this deadline may still be able to make a voluntary disclosure under the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) and avoid or decrease penalties. The OVDI is open until August 31, 2011 and certain individuals, such as those with signature or other authority but no financial interest in an account, may be entitled to an extension.

While the online FBAR filing is quicker, cheaper, more secure and more reliable, paper FBAR forms will still be accepted until further notice is given by FinCEN. Furthermore, tax preparation software cannot currently be used to create and file an FBAR form, but the FinCEN bureau is also working on creating that convenience.

Further advice may also be provided by Dezan Shira & Associates, please contact the firm at tax@dezshira.com if in need of assistance.

Related Reading

U.S. Nationals and FBAR – First American Indicted