The FBAR form filing date will be aligned with annual income tax filing deadline of April 15 starting in tax year 2016.
On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed a three-month highway funding extension bill called “The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015” (H.R. 3236, Pub.L. 114-41). Under the new legislation, the due date of FinCEN Form 114 (known as the “Foreign Bank Account Report” or “FBAR”) will be April 15 instead of June 30 and filers will be able to seek a six-month extension of the deadline. Similar to individual income tax returns, US citizens residing abroad will receive an automatic extension of time to file the FBAR until June 15, with an additional four-month extension available to October 15.
Essentially, the new legislation conforms the due date of the FBAR to the individual income tax return filing deadline. Under prior law, the FBAR filing deadline was June 30, and no extension was available.
The new deadline applies to FBARs for taxable years beginning in 2016. As a result, for filers required to file the FBAR for 2015, the deadline will remain June 30, 2016. For filers required to file an FBAR for 2016 and thereafter, the deadline will be April 15 of 2017 and of each subsequent year.
Fortunately, the short-term highway funding bill did not include the proposal to revoke existing passports of US citizens with $50,000 or more of unpaid taxes (inclusive of interest and penalties). However, it is still possible that this provision could be included in the longer-term highway funding bill that must eventually be passed.
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