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New FBAR Guidance Released

1. The IRS and FinCEN recently have been informed that individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, foreign financial accounts are having difficulty compiling the information needed to file complete and accurate Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs) with respect to 2009 or earlier calendar years by the June 30, 2011 deadline, as previously extended by Notice 2009-62 or Notice 2010-23. Accordingly, the IRS and FinCEN are providing the following additional administrative relief in IRS Notice 2011-54:

  • Persons having signature authority over, but no financial interest in, a foreign financial account in 2009 or earlier calendar years (for which the reporting deadline was extended by Notice 2009-62 or Notice 2010-23) will now have until November 1, 2011 to file FBARs with respect to those accounts.  
  • Administrative relief provided in this Notice does not affect the requirements and deadlines to provide information or file FBARs in connection with the IRS’s 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative. Descriptions of these two programs appear in our prior Alerts dated May 27, 2009, September 21, 2009, and February 11, 2011.

Observation:  The deadline for reporting signature authority over, or a financial interest in, foreign financial accounts for the 2010 calendar year remains June 30, 2011 for those not covered by the narrow FINCEN Notice 2011-1 and -2 extensions described immediately below. 

2. FINCEN Notice 2011-1 previously extended the FBAR filing deadline to June 30, 2012 for those officers and employees of a regulated entity who fall outside the reporting exceptions contained in the final regulations and have signature or other authority over a foreign financial account of an entity which is more than 50% owned, directly or indirectly, by the regulated entity; or officers or employees of one entity within a regulated entity’s controlled group who have signature or other authority over a foreign financial account owned by another member of the controlled group. This narrow exception covers basically U.S. officers or employees with signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts owned directly by foreign subsidiaries of the regulated entity. 

3. FINCEN Notice 2011-2 has now also extended the FBAR filing deadline to June 30, 2012 for employees or officers of SEC registered investment advisors who have signature authority over, but no financial interest in, foreign financial accounts of persons that are not registered investment companies.

FinCEN Notice 2011-1 and Notice 2011-2 may be found at www.fincen.gov and their extensions -- which are longer but narrowly targeted -- are not reduced by the shorter but more broadly applicable IRS extension described further above.  

EisnerAmper LLP

This publication is intended to provide general information to our friends.  It does not constitute accounting, tax, or legal advice; nor is it intended to convey a thorough treatment of the subject matter.

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