You May Need To File FBAR Paperwork This Tax Season

Feb 26, 2019

FBAR deadline extended for signatories on foreign work accountsIf you have signatory authority for an overseas, employer-owned account and have yet to submit FBAR paperwork, you’re in luck. Under Notice 2018-1, FinCen has extended the deadline to April 15, 2020.

Who qualifies for the new extension?

  • People with 2018 signatory authority over, and financial interest in, overseas accounts;
  • Employees, corporate officers, and investment advisers who have signatory authority over, but no investment in, foreign financial accounts.

Everyone required to comply with FBAR and FinCEN rules must file by April 15, 2019. Extensions can be granted to October 15, 2019.

FBAR Refresher Crash Course

Question: Who must comply with FBAR requirements?

Answer: U.S. taxpayers that hold financial interests in or signature authority over foreign financial accounts wherein the aggregate value exceeds $10,000 at any point during a calendar year.

Question: Are legislators in the process of updating FBAR standards?

Answer: Sort of. In March 2016, authorities published proposed, FBAR-related regulatory changes. Suggested updates included:

  1. Exempting persons with signatory authority over an account, but no financial interest in the account that another taxpayer is already reporting.
  2. Exempting persons with authority over 25 or more accounts who enjoy certain non-disclosure protections.
  3.  Aligning the FBAR deadline with the traditional mid-April income tax filing date.

Here’s the rub: Under the proposed regulations, people with signatory authority over, but no financial interest in, qualifying accounts would be exempt from FBAR filings. However, as it currently stands, authorities only exempt non-invested signatories on accounts already reported by another party.

What does this all mean? If you are a signatory on a foreign account, for which you have no financial interest, you may still have to file FBAR paperwork because the proposed Notice 2018-1 updates have yet to be officially adopted. However, authorities are extending the deadline so you can get your paperwork together without incurring penalties.

The takeaway: For now, if you have signatory authority over a foreign work account, you still need to comply with FBAR filing requirements. To determine your status, get in touch with an FBAR lawyer today.

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The Gordon Law Group regularly works with individuals and businesses on various FBAR reporting compliance matters. Get in touch today to begin the conversation.

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