Quietly and with no fanfare, a bill was signed into law by the President on July 31 that comes in direct answer to proposals made for several years by AARO and its partner organizations, as well as the National Taxpayer Advocate. Beginning in 2016, taxpayers (including overseas filers) will file FinCEN Form 114 at the same time, and subject to the same extensions, as their 1040.
HR 3236, the “Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015”, dealt with a host of things that have nothing to do with transportation or health care, including extending the IRS filing date for certain partnership, corporation and trust forms as well as the “FBAR” (Foreign Bank Account Report), due up to now on June 30 with no provision for extensions. It also gives the Secretary of the Treasury discretion to waive certain penalties for first-time filers.
The new law [Section 2006 (b) (11)] states:
“The due date of FinCEN Report 114 (relating to Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) shall be April 15 with a maximum extension for a 6-month period ending on October 15 and with provision for an extension under rules similar to the rules in Treas. Reg. section 1.6081–5*. For any taxpayer required to file such Form for the first time, any penalty for failure to timely request for, or file, an extension, may be waived by the Secretary.”
It goes without saying that this extension will be welcomed by great numbers of overseas filers.