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Important Change to Foreign Bank Account Report Filing Deadline

August 25, 2015

The FinCEN 114 Foreign Bank Account Report (“FBAR”) due date will be April 15th rather than June 30th for reporting years beginning after December 31, 2015.

As a result of the enactment of Public Law 114-41, the “Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015” or “the Act”, as detailed in our recent blog, “2015 Tax Law Changes - Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act,” there have been a number of changes to important tax and other reporting due dates.

Historically, the due date has been June 30 of the year following the reporting year, with no ability to request an extension of time to file. This divorced the due date for filing the FBAR from the due date and extension schedules of the annual income tax return compliance process, adding additional burden to US taxpayers.

In an effort to coordinate the FBAR and tax return filing due dates, the Act provides that the FBAR filing due date will be April 15 of the year following the reporting year. This change will take effect for reporting years starting after December 31, 2015.

Important changes

The Act also provides for the following important changes:

  • Filers who request for a six month extension to file their income tax return may also request a six month extension to file the FBAR.
  • Certain partnerships, corporations and U.S. citizens and residents who are entitled to an automatic extension of time for filing returns until the 15th day of the 6th month following the close of their taxable year, will similarly be granted the automatic extension of time to file the FBAR. For example, a U.S. citizen living abroad who may be entitled to file his or her income tax return by June 15 rather than April 15 of the following year, will also have until June 15 to file the FBAR.
  • Although the Act provides for the ability to request an extension of time to file the FBAR, filers who miss the June 30, 2015 due date for the 2014 FBAR, will not be eligible to request an extension of time to file the 2015 FBAR.
  • For any taxpayer required to file an FBAR for the first time for a reporting year that begins after December 31, 2015, any penalty for failure to timely request or file an extension may be waived by the Secretary.

Questions? Contact any member of our Global Tax Services Practice.

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