Oct. 15 FBAR Extension Deadline Nears for Foreign Bank and Financial Account Holders

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Internal Revenue Service is reminding 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 the extension.

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.
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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.

How to file

The IRS states that 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

Finally, The IRS states that 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.

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