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FinCEN Pushes FBAR Deadline Back Further

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 1/16/2018

Corporate treasury professionals have received another extension for filing foreign bank account reporting forms, or FBARs. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has again extended the deadline.

The due date for FBAR reporting is April 15 (Tax Day) of the year following the December 31 report end date. If a company does not file its FBAR by April 15, it will receive an automatic extension of six months to October 15 of the same calendar year.

However, on March 10, 2016, FinCEN issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which aims to revise the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding FBARs. One of the proposed amendments would expand and clarify the exemptions for certain U.S. persons with signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts. Since the NPRM is not yet finalized, FinCEN is further extending the filing due date to April 15, 2019, for individuals whose filing due date for reporting signature authority had been previously extended.

The extension applies to the reporting of signature authority held during the 2017 calendar year, as well as all reporting deadlines extended by previous notices. Other individuals with FBAR obligations must file by April 15, 2018.

“This extension to file for FBAR is very welcome, particularly at this time when corporates are also waiting for clarifications of the rule,” said Magnus Carlsson, AFP’s manager of treasury and payments.

Indeed, FBAR has created much confusion for treasury professionals over the years—so much so that AFP and members of its Treasury Advisory Group held a series of meetings with members of FinCEN to get clarification on the regulation. Discussion centered on a number of topics, such as which individuals have signature authority, and whether foreign companies with subsidiaries in the United States are exempt.

For practitioners that still have questions, it might be worth reviewing AFP’s compilation of its FBAR coverage.   

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