The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced February 24, 2012 that it would begin requiring that the agency’s reports be filed electronically, although a temporary exemption would be provided for electronic filing of Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), until July 1, 2013. This does not relieve individuals of their FBAR filing obligations.
Each U.S. person who has a financial interest in or signature or other authority over any foreign financial accounts (including bank, securities or other types of financial accounts) in a foreign country must report that information each calendar year by filing a FBAR with the Treasury by June 30 of the succeeding year if the aggregate value of the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.
On July 18, 2011, FinCEN announced that it was accepting electronic filings of FBARs. Beginning in August 2011, individuals worldwide were permitted to file their FBARs by accessing the BSA E-Filing System (http://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov/main.html).
In a February 23, 2012 notice filed in the Federal Register, FinCEN said that it was adopting a requirement that all financial institutions subject to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting use electronic filing for certain reports beginning no later than July 1, 2012. The paperless initiative affects FBARs, but the form will not be required to be filed electronically until July 1, 2013. FinCEN said that, notwithstanding the temporary exemption, the agency encourages FBAR filers to voluntarily take advantage of the e-filing system. Based on the information in the notice, FBARs may be timely filed on paper forms through the 2012 tax year (i.e., for the 2012 tax year, the FBAR is due by June 30, 2013). Thereafter, the form must be filed electronically.