The Internal Revenue Service reminds U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and any domestic legal entity that the extension deadline to file their annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is Oct. 15, 2021.

Filers missing the April 15 annual due date earlier this year received an automatic extension until Oct. 15, 2021, to file the FBAR. They did not need to request an extension, according to a news release.

Filers affected by a natural disaster may have their FBAR due date further extended. It’s important filers review relevant FBAR Relief Notices for complete information.

Who Needs to File?

The Bank Secrecy Act requires U.S. persons to file an FBAR if they have:

  1. Financial interest in, signature authority or other authority over one or more accounts, such as a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, or other financial account located outside the United States, and
  2. The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

Because of this threshold, the IRS encourages U.S. persons or entities with foreign accounts, even relatively small ones, to check if this filing requirement applies to them. A U.S. person is a citizen or resident of the United States or any domestic legal entity such as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, estate, or trust, the news release added.

How to File

Filers do not file the FBAR with their federal income tax return. The 2020 FBAR must be filed electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and is only available through the BSA E-Filing System website. Those who are unable to e-file their FBAR must call FinCEN at 800-949-2732, or from outside the U.S. at 703-905-3975.

Avoid Penalties

Those who don’t file an FBAR when required may be subject to significant civil and criminal penalties that can result in a fine and/or prison. The IRS will not penalize those who properly reported a foreign account on a late-filed FBAR if the IRS determines there was reasonable cause for late filing, according to a news release.

FBAR Resources on IRS.gov:

To help avoid delays with tax refunds, taxpayers living abroad should visit Helpful Tips for Effectively Receiving a Tax Refund for Taxpayers Living Abroad on IRS.gov.

Source: IRS