The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has reminded taxpayers that the due date for filing Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for foreign financial accounts maintained during 2016 is April 18, 2017.
In addition, FinCEN will grant an automatic six-month extension to filers failing to meet the April 18 FBAR deadline. Specific requests for the extension are not required and automatic extension will be granted to October 18, 2017.
What is an FBAR? A U.S. person that has a financial interest in or signatory authority over a foreign financial accounts must file an FBAR if the aggregate value of the foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Failure to file this form may result in significant fines and penalties.
The new annual due date for filing FBAR (April 15) was mandated by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-41 (the Act). The Act changed the FBAR due date to April to coincide with the Federal income tax filing season. The Act also mandates a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. FinCEN will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR annual due date in April 2017 an automatic extension to October 2017.
In addition, the FinCEN has announced a further extension of time for certain exempted individuals to file an FBAR in light of ongoing proposed amendment questions regarding the filing requirement and its application to individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, certain types of accounts. The filing due date for these individuals is being further extended to April 15, 2018.
The certain exempted individuals extension applies to the reporting of signature authority held during the 2016 calendar year, as well as all reporting deadlines extended by previous FinCEN Notices.
Schneider Downs encourages you to report your foreign accounts and foreign financial assets as required. If you have any questions, please contact our office. An officer or employee of a financial institution that is registered with and examined by the Securities and Exchange Commission or Commodity Futures Trading Commission need not report that he has signature or other authority over a foreign financial account owned or maintained by such financial institution if the officer or employee has no financial interest in the account. §1010.350(f)(2)(ii).  Id.  2011-1, 2011-2, 2012-1, 2012-2, 2013-1 and 2014-1.