October FBAR extension deadline nears for foreign bank and financial account holders

Updated October 13, 2022: Filers affected by certain natural disasters have their FBAR due date further extended.

IR-2022-174, October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today reminds U.S. citizens, resident aliens and domestic legal entities that the extension deadline to file their annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is October 15. For additional information about filing deadlines, filers should look to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN)PDF website.

Filers who missed the April 15 annual due date earlier this year received an automatic extension until October 15, 2022, to file the FBAR. They did not need to request the extension. 

Filers affected by a natural disaster may have their FBAR due date further extended. Its important filers review relevant FBAR Relief Notices for complete information.  On October 6, 2022, FinCEN announced that victims of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico; Hurricane Ian in Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina; and storms and floods in parts of Alaska have until February 15, 2023, to file FBARs for the 2021 calendar year.

Who needs to file?

The Bank Secrecy Act requires U.S. persons to file an FBAR if:

  1. They have a financial interest in or signature or other authority over one or more accounts, such as a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund or other financial account located outside the United States, and
  2. The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year 2021.

Because of this threshold, the IRS encourages U.S. persons with foreign accounts, even relatively small ones, to check if this filing requirement applies to them. A U.S. person is a citizen or resident of the United States or a domestic legal entity such as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, estate or trust.

How to file

Filers do not file the FBAR with their federal income tax return. The 2021 FBAR must be filed electronically with FinCEN and is only available through the BSA E-Filing System website. Individuals who are unable to e-file their FBAR must contact FinCEN at 800-949-2732 or FRC@fincen.gov to request an alternative filing method. Callers from outside the U.S. can contact the helpline at 703-905-3975.

Avoid penalties

Those who don't file an accurate FBAR when required may be subject to significant civil and criminal penalties that can result in a fine and/or imprisonment, depending on the facts and circumstances.

FBAR resources on IRS.gov: