Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

FinCEN Amends BSA Regs on FBAR Filings

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

FinCEN Amends BSA Regs on FBAR Filings

Article excerpt

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a final rule (tinyurl.com/4tevafd) that amends the regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), to clarify when an account is foreign and therefore reportable as a foreign financial account and the definition of key terms like "signature or other authority."

FinCEN, which is an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, said the IRS will soon publish instructions for completing the FBAR form. More information on developments in FBAR filing requirements over the past two years is available at the JofA's "FBAR Resources" page at journal ofaccountancy.com/Web/FBAR.

FinCEN said in a press release that the final rule adopts, with slight modifications, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) issued in February 2010 (available at tinyurl.com/yfvazoq). The final rule says the proposal set out to (1) define the scope of individuals and entities required to file the FBAR; (2) delineate the types of reportable accounts; and (3) exempt certain persons and accounts from the reporting requirement and provide certain additional relief. The changes proposed in the NPR were accompanied by proposed changes to the FBAR form instructions, a draft of which appeared in the Federal Register as an attachment to the NPR.

The preamble to the final rule explains FinCEN's approach to issues raised in comments submitted in response to the proposal. In particular, commenters were uncertain about when an account was reportable under the FBAR rules and the scope of individual covered by the signature authority definition. …

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