The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has been alerting institutions that they are now required to use the new FinCEN electronic reports on-line at the BSA E-Filing System. Financial institutions that continue to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) or Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) on paper will fail to meet current Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements and may be subject to civil money penalties. FinCEN is no longer accepting legacy reports. Updated FAQs for electronic filing are on the FinCEN website at http://www.fincen.gov/whatsnew/html/ctr_faqs.html and http://www.fincen.gov/whatsnew/html/sar_faqs.html.
In response to questions about completing certain information items in the electronic forms, FinCEN states: “FinCEN expects financial institutions to have the capability to submit information for any of the data fields in the FinCEN SAR or CTR (or any other FinCEN report). In general, if your financial institution’s filing software does not permit the institution to include information in a field without an asterisk where information has been collected and is pertinent to the report, the financial institution should instead complete a discrete filing for those transactions until the software is updated. If a filing has been submitted in which such information was not included because of such a limitation in the filing software, an amended filing should be completed using either the discrete filing method or an amended batch filing, once the software is updated. Such software updates should be implemented within a reasonable period of time.” If your institution has questions regarding the applicability of this general guidance, you can contact the FinCEN Regulatory Helpline at (800) 949-2732 for further information.
Marianne Couch has authored a number of posts on tax information reporting and trust tax topics. Visit her archive page to view all of her posts.
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