Electronic Reporting Now Required for Foreign Accounts

Churches with $10,000 or more abroad must note change.

U.S. organizations and individuals (including churches and church officials) that have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, one or more foreign financial accounts with total balances exceeding $10,000 during any part of a calendar year must generally file a Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). The FBAR is generally due on June 30th of the year following the calendar year covered by the FBAR.

Effective immediately, FBARs covering 2013 and all future years must be electronically filed.

E-filing is a quick and secure way to file FBARs. Filers will receive an acknowledgment of each submission. For more information about electronic filing, read the news release from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen).

There are now procedures to allow the filing of an FBAR by a third party (such as a paid preparer or a spouse) on behalf of the person who has the obligation to file an FBAR. For information pertaining to authorizations for third parties to electronically file and sign FBARs on behalf of an obligated filer, see FinCEN FAQ, Understanding What BSA E-Filing is and What It Offers (June 2013).

FBAR Help Desk

Help with completing the FBAR is available from the IRS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), at (866) 270-0733 (toll-free inside the U.S.) or (313) 234-6146 (not toll-free for callers outside the U.S.). Questions regarding the FBAR can be sent to FBARquestions@irs.gov. Filers residing abroad may also contact U.S. embassies and consulates for assistance.

Help with electronic filing technical questions is available at BSAEFilingHelp@fincen.gov or through the BSA E-Filing Help Desk at (866) 346-9478.

Michael (Mike) E. Batts is a CPA and the managing partner of Batts Morrison Wales & Lee, P.A., an accounting firm dedicated exclusively to serving nonprofit organizations across the United States.

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