Missed the April 15 FBAR Due Date? Even though the IRS continued the due date for tax return filing from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021 — they also went out of their way to unnecessarily cause confusion involving the reporting due date of the FBAR. Technically, the FBAR is not on extension until May 17th. This had made some taxpayers understandably concerned that they believe they missed the 2021 FBAR filing due date already — but that is not the case. Since 2016, the FBAR filing due date was changed from June 30th to April 15th. But, for the past few years the FBAR is on automatic extension. By automatic extension, it means that the taxpayer automatically gets until October 15th to file the FBAR — without having to proactively file any specific extension form such as a Form 4868 or 7004.
The extension of the federal income tax filing due date and other tax deadlines for individuals to May 17, 2021, does not affect the FBAR requirement.
However, filers missing the April 15 deadline will receive an automatic extension until October 15, 2021, to file the FBAR. They don’t need to request the extension.
Who Must Report
The Bank Secrecy Act requires U.S. persons to file a FBAR if they have:
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 in a foreign country, and
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 2021 FBAR must be filed electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and is only available through theBSA E-Filing Systemwebsite.
Penalties for Failure to File an FBAR
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.
IRS FBAR Amnesty Program Summary
If the current year is not your first FBAR, and you missed the time to file FBAR in prior years, you may qualify for one of the FBAR Amnesty Programs. These offshore disclosure programs developed by the Internal Revenue Service to assist Taxpayers who are already out of compliance for non-reporting.
Some of the more common programs, include:
Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm
Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure.