AAFCPAs would like to again remind all taxpayers with an FBAR filing requirement to be sure to report their foreign assets by the quickly approaching June 30 deadline. Time is of the essence!
What is the FBAR?
The “FBAR” is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Form 114 that must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is a bureau of the US Treasury Department. The form must be filed electronically and is only available online through the BSA (Bank Secrecy Act) E-Filing System website. The filing cannot be extended beyond the June 30 deadline.
Who Needs to File?
All taxpayers with foreign assets need to review this requirement to determine if they need to file. Specifically, any direct, or in certain cases, indirect interest in, or signature or other authority over, foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2015 requires reporting and filing of the FBAR. The FBAR Form 114 is not part of filing your tax return and must be separately filed directly with FinCEN.
Please do not ignore this June 30th Filing Requirement as the Civil and Criminal Penalties for failure to file could be extensive. The maximum penalty for a non-willful violation is $10,000 and for a willful violation is the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance of the account at the time of violation.
Future FBAR Changes
Tax legislation passed during 2015 will impact FBAR reporting starting in 2017. The due date will be accelerated from June 30 to April 15, 2017. However, a filer will be able to request a six month extension of time to file, bringing the extended due date to October 15, 2017. In addition, the Treasury Department will have the ability to waive penalties for first time filers that do not file for the extension but file Form 114 by October 15, 2017.
AAFCPAs Can Help
AAFCPAs has extensive knowledge of the FBAR filing requirements and can provide guidance in determining whether you need to file and what information is required. As always, we are also able to assist with the preparation and e-filing of the required forms.