IRS Reminds Taxpayers of April FBAR Deadline. So What!

The IRS sent out a press release this morning noting the FBAR deadline remains April 15th.  The FBAR is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCEN Form 114), and must be filed if you have $10,000 aggregate in one or more foreign financial accounts at any time during the year.  My reaction is “Who cares.” And this is a deadline you can ignore (for now).

The penalties for willfully not filing the FBAR are very significant.  They start at $100,000 or half the balance in each account, whichever is greater.  I absolutely am not encouraging individuals to get in trouble with the FBAR.

But the IRS press release left out a significant issue vis-a-vis the April 15th deadline for the FBAR: There is an automatic extension until October 15th.  There are no penalties and no issues at all with filing the FBAR between April 16th and October 15th.  Indeed, the FinCEN automatic extension is how I (and most tax professionals) would like to see IRS deadlines work: automatic extensions for filing (but you have to pay the tax, if any, on the due date).  But I digress.

So if you have an FBAR filing requirement and you are not ready to file, relax.  You have six more months to get the FBAR filed—a fact the IRS left out of its press release.

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