Changes to the ‘FBARs’ proposed by FinCEN

March 2, 2016 -- Financial professionals who file “Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FBARs) would see some changes in what they file under a proposed rulemaking issued this week, intended to “revise and clarify certain provisions in the rules.”

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued the notice of proposed rulemaking Tuesday (March 1) for the FBARs, which FinCEN said would mainly apply to financial professionals who file the reports due to their employment responsibilities.

Changes being proposed by FinCEN include:

  • Remove the provisions limiting information reported with respect to situations when a filer has 25 or more foreign financial accounts, and instead require all U.S. persons obligated to file an FBAR to report detailed account information on all foreign financial accounts for which they are required to file an FBAR.
  • Eliminate the requirement for officers and employees of institutions to report on institutional accounts for which they have signature authority, but no financial interest, due solely to their employment, so long as their employer has an FBAR filing obligation.
  • Require institutions to maintain a list of all officers and employees with signature authority over those same accounts; this list would be made available to FinCEN and law enforcement upon request.

Comments are due within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register.

Also in the notice of the proposed rulemaking, FinCEN pointed out that, as a result of recent legislation, the due date for FBAR reporting will be April 15 of the year following the Dec. 31 report ending date (for example, for 2016 reports, the due date will be April 15, 2017). However, for 2015 reports, the due date remains June 30, 2016.

FinCEN press release on FBAR notice of propoosed rulemaking