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Dec. 31 Deadline for Natural Disaster Victims to File FBAR

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has provided that victims of recent natural disasters  have until December 31, 2020 to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for the 2019 calendar year.

Background—FBAR.

A 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 file an FBAR with the FinCEN division if the aggregate value of those foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. (31 CFR §1010.350(a))

As part of the Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-41), the FBAR due date was changed to April 15 to coincide with the Federal income tax filing season, with an allowable filing extension of up to six months.

Extension for disaster victims.

FinCEN has provided that victims of recent natural disasters have until December 31, 2020 to file FBAR for the 2019 calendar year.

FinCEN is offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance as a result of the California Wildfires, the Iowa Derecho, Hurricane Laura, the Oregon Wildfires, and Hurricane Sally (the “affected areas”). Should FEMA designate FBAR filers in other localities affected by these natural disasters as eligible for individual assistance at a later date, they will receive the same filing relief automatically.

In addition, FinCEN will work with any FBAR filer who lives outside the disaster areas and whose records that are required to meet the deadline are located in the affected areas. FBAR filers who live outside the affected areas seeking assistance in meeting their filing obligations (including workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization), should contact the FinCEN Regulatory Support Section at 800-767-2825 or electronically at frc@fincen.gov.

To continue your research on penalties for failure to meet FBAR reporting requirements on interests in foreign bank and financial accounts, see FTC 2d/FIN ¶V-1813.4.

 

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