The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued final rules on Form TD-F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (known as the “FBAR”). Generally, United States persons are required to file an FBAR if the United States person had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one financial account located outside of the United States; and the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year to be reported. The final rules clarify which foreign accounts must be reported, revised the definition of signature authority and made other changes.
The final rules identify which accounts qualify as foreign financial accounts. These include bank accounts and securities accounts. Certain accounts are excepted, including accounts of departments or agencies of the United States and correspondent accounts maintained by banks solely for the purpose of bank-to-bank settlements.
Reporting is generally required by June 30 of each year. During 2011, however, the Treasury Department and the IRS postponed certain FBAR related deadlines. They announced a one year extension until June 30, 2012 for filing the FBAR by certain financial professionals with only signature authority over foreign financial accounts (IR-2011-57, FinCEN Notice 2011-1).
FinCEN announced in 2011 that FBAR filers may opt to file the FBAR electronically.