Government Issues Final Rules on FBAR Filing Requirements


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has issued final regulations regarding Form TD F 90-22.1, the Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report (FBAR). The final regulations largely adopt the proposed regulations, which were released in February 2010 and reported in a previous Alert, with some notable modifications and clarifications discussed below.

Last year’s proposed regulations were accompanied by proposed revisions to the instructions for completing the FBAR. Although the final regulations indicate the FBAR instructions have been further revised, the instructions themselves are not yet available. FinCEN has indicated that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will soon publish these revised instructions.

Generally, the FBAR requires, with very limited exceptions, each U.S. person who has a financial interest in, or signature authority over, one or more financial accounts in a foreign country to report those accounts annually to the IRS if the aggregate value exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Such persons must file an FBAR by June 30 of the succeeding year, and no filing extension is available. Failure to comply with the FBAR reporting requirements can result in significant civil penalties, criminal penalties, or both.

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