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Did You Miss the 2021 FBAR Filing Deadline?

Hot Topics, Offshore Account Update, Press Releases

Posted on April 30, 2021 |

When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the federal income tax filing deadline to May 17 for 2021, it left another important deadline untouched: U.S. taxpayers who owned foreign bank accounts in 2020 remained obligated to disclose these accounts by April 15. Since this date has passed, what should you do if you failed to file your Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) on time? Boston international tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, explains:

FBAR Filers Receive an Automatic Extension to October 15

Under federal law, U.S. taxpayers who do not file their FBARs by April 15 receive an automatic extension to October 15 of the same calendar year. Taxpayers do not have to request this extension—they simply need to file by October 15. However, while this might allow you to breathe a sigh of relief, it is important not to overlook the potential consequences of FBAR non-compliance; and, generally speaking, it is still best to file an FBAR as promptly as possible.

Are You Required to File an FBAR?

The FBAR filing requirement applies to U.S. taxpayers who own one or more foreign financial accounts (i.e. offshore bank accounts) with an aggregate value in excess of $10,000 at any point during the relevant tax year. If a taxpayer has multiple offshore accounts, the taxpayer must report all accounts regardless of each account’s individual maximum value during the year. Individual taxpayers, businesses, estates and trusts are all required to file FBARs if any (or all) of their offshore accounts exceed the aggregate value threshold.

Are You Delinquent on Your FBAR Filing Obligations?

One of the most important reasons to promptly assess your FBAR filing obligations for the current tax year is to ensure that you haven’t made mistakes in years past. The penalties for failing to file an FBAR can be substantial. However, there are also options for correcting past FBAR filing mistakes—as long as you do so before the IRS initiates an audit or investigation.

These options include submitting a streamlined filing or a voluntary disclosure. However, streamlined filings and voluntary disclosures are very different from one another, and they are available to U.S. taxpayers under different circumstances. To make sure you choose the correct option (if you need to correct an FBAR filing delinquency), you should consult with an experienced international tax attorney.

Do You Also Have to File Under FATCA?

Keep in mind that if you need to file an FBAR, you may also need to file one or more tax forms with the IRS under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Filing an FBAR does not satisfy taxpayers’ compliance obligations under FATCA, nor does making a FATCA filing serve as a substitute for filing an FBAR.

Request a Consultation with Boston International Tax Attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group

Are you up-to-date on your foreign asset disclosures? Do you need to file a delinquent FBAR or make a delinquent FATCA filing? To discuss your situation with Boston international tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, in confidence, call 617-692-2989, email ket@thornlawgroup.com or contact us confidentially online today.

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