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FinCEN Extends FBAR Deadline For Persons Affected By Recent Natural Disasters

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced Tuesday that it is extending the deadline for filing FinCEN Form 114, Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (the “FBAR”), for all persons located in several natural disaster areas throughout the country, as recently designated by FEMA.

All U.S. persons who possess an ownership interest, or signatory or other authority, over one or more foreign bank or financial accounts with an aggregate balance exceeding $10,000 in a given year are required by law to file an FBAR. Failure to timely file an FBAR can result in civil penalties and, in willful cases, criminal prosecution. The present FBAR filing deadline for accounts held in 2019 is October 15, 2020.

Tuesday’s announcement from FinCEN extends the FBAR deadline until December 31, 2020 for persons located in areas designated by FEMA as qualifying for disaster relief as a result of the California Wildfires, the Iowa Derecho, Hurricane Laura, the Oregon Wildfires, and Hurricane Sally. The specific counties located within these disaster areas are listed in the announcement and can be located on FEMA’s website. The announcement indicates that any localities later included within the zones designated by FEMA as being affected by these disasters will automatically receive the same extension. The announcement also states that FinCEN will work with persons who are located outside of the affected areas but who have been impacted by the disasters, such as relief workers, to grant extensions, and encourages such persons to contact FinCEN’s support line (1-800-767-2825).

FinCEN’s notice can be found here.

More information about the FBAR and the FBAR filing obligations can be found on the IRS’s website as well as on FinCEN’s website.

If you are concerned about any of the issues discussed in this article, please contact Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP for advice.