FAQs
Q

Is the 2017 FBAR filing deadline still June 30th?

Q

Is the 2017 FBAR filing deadline still June 30th?

A

No – the FBAR deadline has changed.

A new year brings new tax laws and regulations. For U.S. citizens and green card holders living abroad, also known as expatriates or “expats”, it is important to keep abreast of these changes as much as anyone else. In fact, 2017 brings major changes for individuals who must file certain documents related to international foreign accounts and assets.

Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR): The New FBAR Filing Deadline

If you’re required to file an FBAR, the filing deadline has been moved up two-and-a-half months. In prior years, the return was not due until June 30. However, due to tax legislation, the general deadline for this form has become April 15, the same deadline for tax returns. However, for FBARs covering the 2016 calendar year, the deadline will be April 18, 2017 due to a holiday in Washington D.C.

If you are still unable to file your FBAR by the filing deadline, a six-month automatic extension is available, moving the deadline to October 15th (16th in 2017). No additional paperwork is necessary to do so.

An expat is required to file an FBAR if their total aggregate balance of foreign financial accounts on any given day exceeds $10,000. The typical accounts held overseas are:

  • Your bank accounts
  • Investment accounts, and
  • Retirement accounts

Remember: this threshold applies to all accounts you own separately and jointly, as well as accounts in which you may not own or have a financial interest in, but do have signature authority over. An example of the latter includes bank accounts that you are in charge of at your place of employment or through a business in which you hold interest.

Expat Income Tax Returns

The deadline for expats to file their individual return for 2016 is generally June 15, 2017. This is because expats living overseas on the regular deadline qualify for an automatic-two month filing extension. Though this automatic-two month filing extension does apply to FBARs as well, the six-month automatic extension supersedes the shorter extension and should give expats more time to collect their tax documents for FBAR reporting. As an added benefit, no additional paperwork is required to receive this extension.

Importantly, expats are still required to pay any tax due by April 18, 2017, even if they plan on filing their return by June 15. If you don’t pay taxes due by April 18, 2017 the IRS won’t assess a failure to pay penalty if you file and pay by June 15, 2017. However, you’ll still be charged interest on the unpaid amount if you don’t pay by the April deadline.

It is always best to start your tax filing as soon as possible, even if you are still missing a document or two. Many expats start the filing process later in the filing season, so getting in the door early can expedite your virtual tax filing experience. Expat taxes, including the new FBAR deadline and the extended deadlines for tax returns can get tricky, which is why you should let the pros help. To get your tax filing started, contact H&R Block Expat Tax Services today.

- Contributing Author: Mohit Sandhu, H&R Block Expat Tax Services

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