The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) published revised regulations for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) in the Federal Register today. Poker accounts were reportable because they were pooled accounts with the money held in one central account (fund). However, the new rules change the accounts that must be reported:
(c) Types of reportable accounts. For purposes of this section—
(1) Bank account. The term ‘‘bank account’’ means a savings deposit, demand deposit, checking, or any other account maintained with a person engaged in the business of banking.
(2) Securities account. The term ‘‘securities account’’ means an account with a person engaged in the business of buying, selling, holding or trading stock or other securities.
(3) Other financial account. The term ‘‘other financial account’’ means—
(i) An account with a person that is in the business of accepting deposits as a financial agency;
(ii) An account that is an insurance or annuity policy with a cash value;
(iii) An account with a person that acts as a broker or dealer for futures or options transactions in any commodity on or subject to the rules of a commodity exchange or association; or
(iv) An account with—
(A) Mutual fund or similar pooled fund. A mutual fund or similar pooled fund which issues shares available to the general public that have a regular net asset value determination and regular redemptions; or
(B) Other investment fund. [Reserved]
Now, poker accounts are pooled accounts but no shares are issued to the public. As I read this, poker accounts will no longer have to be reported as foreign financial accounts. Do note that third party payment services, such as Neteller and Moneybookers, will still need to be reported (as will foreign bank accounts).
I’m going to read the Federal Register post again to make sure I’m reading this right, but I believe I am.
UPDATE: I’ve now re-read the regulations in the Federal Registry. In no way can a poker account be considered an account with shares sold to the public, or with regular net asset value determinations. Poker accounts no longer have to be reported as foreign financial accounts.