Monday, July 29, 2013

FBARs Must Be Filed Electronically

The Treasury Department will no longer accept FBARs in paper form.  Beginning August 1, 2013, all FBARs must be filed electronically.  U.S. persons with a financial interest in, or signature authority over, foreign financial accounts with an aggregate value exceeding $10,000 during any year are required to file a an FBAR – “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account” on Form TD F 90-22.1 -- by June 30 of the following year.  FBARs must now be filed online through the BSA E-Filing System of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”).  Noncompliance may result in civil penalties.  

The BSA E-Filing System requires users to first submit a User Application Form and select a user ID and password.  Once a user has been granted access, he or she must then download a Forms Reader, which will enable the user to complete the FBAR and submit it online.  If an attorney or CPA has documented authority from the person legally obligated to file an FBAR, the attorney or CPA is permitted to sign and submit FBARs on the client’s behalf through a single BSA E-Filing account established for the attorney or CPA.  In the absence of documented authority, filings must be signed and submitted through an account unique to each client.

Individuals and financial institutions who have difficulty filing electronically, for example because they are located in remote locations and lack Internet access or due to natural disasters, may contact FinCEN’s Regulatory Helpline at 1 800-949-2732 (or 1-703-905-3975 from outside the U.S.) to determine possible alternatives for timely reporting.

For more information, or to file an FBAR, go to