The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) e-Filing System provided by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) now has an alternative method for individuals filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) to the US Treasury Department.
An FBAR must be filed electronically through the BSA e-Filing System website. However, filers can now choose between the current method of filing using an Adobe PDF or use the new online form that only requires the use of an internet browser.
Under the current method, filers can begin to prepare their FBARs but work at their own pace. Saving their progress locally, they can resume preparation at a later time without losing data previously entered in the PDF form. Internet access is only required once they are ready to submit their FBARs. The form may also be reused to edit and resubmit an amendment, eliminating the need to re-key the entire report.
However, under the new alternative method, filers will need to have gathered all information needed to complete their FBARs and must be prepared to file in a single sitting. The online form does not allow progress to be saved during form completion.
Only after submission will filers have an opportunity to download a read-only copy of their FBARs for record keeping purposes. If there is a need to amend an FBAR for any reason, the downloaded copy will not be available for re-submission.
US persons are required to file FBARs by June 30 each year if they have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, financial accounts located in a foreign country that have an aggregate value exceeding USD10,000 at any time during a calendar year.