October 5, 2021
FinCEN provides FBAR relief to victims of recent natural disasters giving them until December 31, 2021 to file
On October 5, 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released FinCEN Notice 2021-10 (the Notice), further extending the filing deadline for the Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) for certain individuals who live in, have businesses in, or have records in areas affected by certain specified recent natural disasters. The Notice does not purport to address entity filings, but individuals working on entity filings may call FinCEN, which indicated that it will work with any filers not explicitly covered by the Notice. The disasters referenced by the Notice include Hurricane Ida, the California wildfires, Tennessee severe storm and flooding, Michigan severe storms, flooding and tornadoes, and Tropical Storm Fred. FinCEN is offering relief to these individuals by extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2021, for calendar year 2020 FBARs.
The 2020 FBAR otherwise would be due on or before October 15, 2021.
Generally, FBAR is an annual, calendar-year based report due April 15 following the calendar year being reported, with an automatic extension to October 15. There is no need to formally request this extension to October 15.
For certain employees or officers with signature or other authority, but no financial interest in certain foreign accounts, the deadline may be deferred to April 15 of the following year (i.e., a CY2020 FBAR would be due April 15, 2022). For a detailed description of this deferral, please refer to Tax Alert 2020-2866.
Additional extension granted via FinCEN Notice 2021-10
FinCEN announced on October 5, 2021, that victims of recent natural disasters have until December 31, 2021, to file FBARs for the 2020 calendar year. According to the Notice:
FinCEN is offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance as a result of 1) Hurricane Ida, 2) the California Wildfires, 3) Tennessee Severe Storm and Flooding, 4) Michigan Severe Storms, Flooding, and Tornadoes, and 5) Tropical Storm Fred. 1
The localities affected by the referenced natural disasters are determined by FEMA and are based on "local damage assessments." If FEMA determines other localities are eligible at a later date, an extension will be granted automatically. If the filer is located outside a designated locality but needs to access/consult records inside an affected locality, an extension would also be available.
If the filer believes he/she is located in one of the affected areas, or must access/consult records in an affected area, the filer should visit FEMA's "Current Disasters" page 2 to determine if he/she qualifies for the extension granted under Notice 2021-10. One may search by locality, or find a listing of every "Designated Area" for each natural disaster. The filer also can find additional resources and current information to help during these ongoing major disaster declarations on that site. If the filer is a person who is located outside of a designated area, but needs to access/consult records inside a designated area, the filer should contact the FinCEN Regulatory Support Section at 800-767-2825 or electronically file at email@example.com to meet the deadline.