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October 20, 2020

US: Calendar year 2019 FBARs extended to 31 October

In response to concerns over taxpayer reliance on an earlier communication, on 16 October 2020, FinCEN formally issued a notice extending 2019 calendar-year FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) filings to 31 October 2020. The filings were previously due on 15 October 2020, as automatically extended from 15 April 2020.

On 14 October 2020, FinCEN erroneously posted a sweeping relief notice on its Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) e-filing website stating: “The FBAR deadline for Federal tax year 2019 has been moved from 15 Oct 2020 to 31 Dec 2020. If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the BSA E-Filing Help Desk.” FinCEN removed the notice and message at 4:26 PM EST on 15 October 2020, the due date of the filing, and clarified that the extension was intended to be limited to victims of recent natural disasters as indicated in FinCEN’s recent notice, dated 6 October 2020. Such victims still have until 31 December 2020, to file.

On 16 October 2020, at 6:30 PM EST, FinCEN apologized for the error and any confusion the website posting from 14 October caused. FinCEN mentioned that it has coordinated with the Internal Revenue Service to address the concerns of filers who may have missed their filing deadline because of the 14 October message. As a result, taxpayers who file their 2019 calendar year FBAR by 31 October 2020, will be deemed to have timely filed.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young LLP (United States), International Tax and Transaction Services, New York
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Information Reporting & Withholding, Chicago




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