Certain individuals who have only signature authority over foreign financial accounts now have until April 15, 2017 to file the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.

On December 8, 2015, the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released Notice 2015-1, which states that certain persons who are obligated to file FinCEN Form 114 – Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) now have until April 15, 2017 to file the form.[1] This extended filing deadline applies to certain individuals who have signature authority over, but no financial interest in, one or more foreign financial accounts. The extension also applies to certain employees or officers of investment advisers registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who have signature authority over, but no financial interest in, certain foreign financial accounts.

As with the prior extension, FinCEN referenced the receipt of questions that required additional consideration with regard to the exceptions addressed in prior notices that extended deadlines for such individuals. This extension covers not only the reporting of signature authority held by such persons for 2015 but also the reporting deadlines previously extended under FinCEN Notices 2011-1, 2011-2, 2012-1, 2012-2, 2013-1, and 2014-1. The filing due date of June 30, 2016 (with respect to the 2014 calendar year) remains applicable to all others who are required to file an FBAR.

Generally, FinCEN Notice 2015-1 further extends the FBAR filing deadline for the following employees and officers of certain “excepted entities” (as defined in the final regulations released by FinCEN on February 24, 2011[2]):

  • An employee or officer of an excepted entity who has signature or other authority over, but no financial interest in, a foreign financial account of a controlled person of the entity.
  • An employee or officer of a controlled person of an excepted entity who has signature or other authority over, but no financial interest in, a foreign financial account of the entity or another controlled person of the entity. For this purpose, a “controlled person” is a US or foreign entity that is more than 50% owned (directly or indirectly) by an excepted entity.

Notice 2015-1 also generally extends the filing deadline for employees or officers of investment advisers registered with the SEC who have signature or other authority over, but no financial interest in, foreign financial accounts of persons that are not investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (1940 Act). The exemption set forth in the final regulations covers only employees of “authorized service providers” with respect to accounts of mutual funds that are registered under the 1940 Act.[3]

As noted, the above-described employees or officers now have until April 15, 2017 to file FBARs. When adopted in final form, proposed regulations issued in March (discussed in our March 2016 LawFlash) will provide significant relief from the FBAR filing requirement to a broader group of individuals than those eligible for the extension under Notice 2015-1. Our “Ultimate FBAR Due Date Chart” has been updated to reflect these extended deadlines.