Last week, the Internal Revenue Service released interim guidance (SBSE-04-0515-0025) on foreign bank account report…
IRS delinquent FBAR submission procedure
Last spring, the IRS revised its program for delinquent FBAR returns. The IRS offers a new “delinquent FBAR submission procedure”. See below excerpt from the IRS website.The program is available if you properly reported on your U.S. tax returns, and paid all tax on, the income from the foreign financial accounts reported on the delinquent FBARs, and you have not previously been contacted regarding an income tax examination or a request for delinquent returns for the years for which the delinquent FBARs are submitted.
You must include “a statement explaining why you are filing the FBARs late”, which many people interpret as a “reasonable cause” excuse explanation. Taxpayers are warned to carefully craft the statement to persuasively demonstrate reasonable cause.
In such case, many longstanding authorities regarding what constitutes reasonable cause continue to apply, and existing procedures concerning establishing reasonable cause, including requirements to provide a statement of facts made under the penalties of perjury, continue to apply. See, for example, Treas. Reg. § 1.6038-2(k)(3), Treas. Reg. § 1.6038A-4(b), and Treas. Reg. § 301.6679-1(a)(3).
Taxpayers may wish to seek legal counsel in filing the delinquent FBAR submission procedure.
Taxpayers who do not need to use either the OVDP or the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures to file delinquent or amended tax returns to report and pay additional tax, but who:
- have not filed a required Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) (FinCEN Form 114, previously Form TD F 90-22.1),
- are not under a civil examination or a criminal investigation by the IRS, and
- have not already been contacted by the IRS about the delinquent FBARs
should file the delinquent FBARs according to the FBAR instructions.
- Review the instructions
- Include a statement explaining why you are filing the FBARs late
- File all FBARs electronically at FinCEN
- On the cover page of the electronic form, select a reason for filing late
- If you are unable to file electronically, contact FinCEN’s Regulatory Help line at 1-800-949-2732 or 1-703-905-3975 (if calling from outside the United States) to determine possible alternatives to electronic filing.
The IRS will not impose a penalty for the failure to file the delinquent FBARs if you properly reported on your U.S. tax returns, and paid all tax on, the income from the foreign financial accounts reported on the delinquent FBARs, and you have not previously been contacted regarding an income tax examination or a request for delinquent returns for the years for which the delinquent FBARs are submitted.
FBARs will not be automatically subject to audit but may be selected for audit through the existing audit selection processes that are in place for any tax or information returns.