Do you file a Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) report?
If not, no need to read this blog post.
If yes, your filing method must change beginning July 1, 2013, from paper to electronic filing. The electronic filing was mandated in 2011, but was delayed until after June 30, 2013. At the present time there is no commercial tax preparation system that is available to use for e-filing the FBAR report, the e-Filing system to be used is supported via the Bank Secrecy Act website. According to their site, the e-Filing system “provides a faster, more convenient, more secure and more cost-effective method for submitting BSA forms.”
To Get Started With e-Filing:
- Visit the BSA website to apply for a User ID and Password.
- To ensure that you can view the forms, if you do not already have Adobe Reader 9.1 or 10.2, you will need to download the software, which can be done for free here.
Who Must File a FBAR Report:
Any individual or organization with a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account must file a FBAR, which is used by the U.S. government to ensure that foreign accounts are not being used to circumvent U.S. Law. Eligible accounts include: bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds and trusts, among others.
In addition to direct financial interests, individuals and organizations owning more than 50% of a corporation or partnership, or being a trust grantor or having more than 50% of the beneficial ownership of a trust must also file to report the corporation, partnership or trusts’ foreign financial accounts.
Currently the e-Filing system only accepts FBAR e-filings when one signature is required. Therefore, beginning July 1, 2013, married couples will need to file separately until the e-Filing system is changed.
Note that BSA e-Filings will only allow you to satisfy Federal requirements. State filing requirements remain separate.
Other forms that should be e-Filed include:
- Currency Transaction Report (FinCEN Form 104)
- Designation of Exempt Person (FinCEN Form 110)
- Suspicious Activity Report (Form TD F 90-22.47)
- Suspicious Activity Report by the Securities and Futures Industries (FinCEN Form 101)
- Suspicious Activity Report by Money Services Business (FinCEN Form 109, formerly 90-22.56)
- Suspicious Activity Report by Casinos and Card Clubs (FinCEN Form 102)
- Currency Transaction Report by Casinos (FinCEN Form 103, formerly 8362)
- Registration of Money Services Business (FinCEN Form 107)
The BSA FAQ webpage is useful if you have questions about security, enrollment and batch filings.