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IRS reminds holders of foreign bank and financial accounts of April FBAR deadline

Written on Apr 5, 2022

The IRS has released a reminder that U.S. citizens, resident aliens and any domestic legal entity that the deadline to file their annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is April 15. For additional information about filing deadlines, filers should look to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) website

Filers missing the April deadlines will receive an automatic extension until Oct. 15, 2022, to file the FBAR. They don’t need to request the extension.  

Who must file an FBAR 

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 in a foreign country, and 

  1. The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. 

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. 

The FBAR must be filed electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and is only available through the BSA E-Filing System website. Taxpayers who are unable to e-file their FBAR must contact FinCEN at 800.949.2732 (703.905.3975 if calling from outside the U.S.) or FRC@fincen.gov

Penalties for failure to file an FBAR 

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.