FinCEN extends general filing deadline for FBARs, continues yearly extension for certain individuals

Tax Hot TopicsThe new annual due date for filing Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for foreign financial accounts is April 15 with a maximum extension for a six-month period ending on Oct. 15. The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (Surface Act) modified the due date of the FBAR from June 30 to April 15 to align with the federal income tax filing season. According to recently issued guidance, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will grant filers an automatic extension to the federal income tax due date of Oct. 15 each year. At this time, specific requests for extensions are not required.

Additionally, on Dec. 16, 2016, FinCEN issued a notice (Notice 2016-1) extending the deadline to April 15, 2018, for FBAR filings for certain individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, certain foreign financial accounts. This is the fifth consecutive year that FinCEN has issued such an extension to similarly situated individuals. To be eligible for the reporting extension under Notice 2016-1, an individual must satisfy specific criteria with respect to certain employer-owned foreign financial accounts.    

FinCEN extended the deadline in light of a notice of proposed rulemaking that it issued on March 10, 2016.  These proposed regulations expand and clarify filing exemptions for certain U.S. persons with signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts, and have yet to be finalized. The extension applies to individuals with signature authority held during the 2016 calendar year, as well as all reporting deadlines extended by prior notices.

David Sites
Partner, Washington National Tax Office
+1 202 861 4104

Cory Perry
Experience Manager, Washington National Tax Office
+1 202 521 1509

Tax professional standards statement
This content supports Grant Thornton LLP’s marketing of professional services and is not written tax advice directed at the particular facts and circumstances of any person. If you are interested in the topics presented herein, we encourage you to contact us or an independent tax professional to discuss their potential application to your particular situation. Nothing herein shall be construed as imposing a limitation on any person from disclosing the tax treatment or tax structure of any matter addressed herein. To the extent this content may be considered to contain written tax advice, any written advice contained in, forwarded with or attached to this content is not intended by Grant Thornton LLP to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.

The information contained herein is general in nature and is based on authorities that are subject to change. It is not, and should not be construed as, accounting, legal or tax advice provided by Grant Thornton LLP to the reader. This material may not be applicable to, or suitable for, the reader’s specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of tax and nontax factors not described herein. Contact Grant Thornton LLP or other tax professionals prior to taking any action based upon this information. Changes in tax laws or other factors could affect, on a prospective or retroactive basis, the information contained herein; Grant Thornton LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any such changes. All references to “Section,” “Sec.,” or “§” refer to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.