FBAR Filing Deadline Extended (For Some)

The deadline for Foreign Bank Account Reporting was June 30. The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account is IRS TD F 90-22.1 (.pdf). Any United States person who has a financial interest in or signature authority, or other authority over any financial account in a foreign country, if the aggregate value of these accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year must file the report. An FBAR must be filed whether or not the foreign account generates any income.

Although FBAR requirement has been around for a few years, the IRS recently revised the filing requirements. It seems to have caught many people by surprise.The IRS had extended the FBAR Filing deadline to September 23 for taxpayers who reported and paid tax on all their 2008 taxable income, but only recently learned of their FBAR filing obligation and have insufficient time to gather the necessary information to complete the FBAR.

There are a few instances that the filing requirement seems unclear and really unexpected, so the IRS further extended the filing deadline in two instances:

  1. Persons with no financial interest in a foreign financial account but with signature or other authority over the foreign financial account.
  2. Persons with a financial interest in, or signature authority over, a foreign financial account in which the assets are held in a commingled fund.

If that is you, then then you have until June 30, 2010 to file FBARs for the 2008, 2009 and earlier calendar years.

In the first instance, company officers and employees were caught off guard that they need to personally file an FBAR for company accounts. As part of IRS Notice 2009-62 (.pdf), the Department of the Treasury is requesting comments regarding when a person with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, a foreign financial account should be relieved of filing an FBAR for the account. Especially, when the person with a financial interest in the account has filed an FBAR.

The second instance was triggered by statements made by the IRS in June indicating their view that the term “foreign commingled fund” includes private investment funds organized outside the United States. As part of IRS Notice 2009-62 (.pdf), the Treasury Department is asking for comments on this approach.


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