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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2010
|CONTACT: Steve Hudak
FinCEN Proposes Clarifications to Foreign Bank Accounts Report (FBAR)
VIENNA, Va. - FinCEN today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) implementing regulations regarding the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).
The FBAR form is used to report a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, one or more financial accounts in foreign countries. No report is required if the aggregate value of the accounts does not exceed $10,000. When filed, FBARs become part of the BSA database. They are used in combination with Suspicious Activity Reports, Currency Transaction Reports, and other BSA reports to provide law enforcement and regulatory investigators with valuable information to fight fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and other financial crime.
In developing the NPRM, FinCEN worked closely with the Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Policy (OTP), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). FinCEN delegated the authority to enforce the FBAR rules and to amend the form to the IRS in 2003. However, FinCEN retained the authority to revise the applicable regulations.
The proposed rule:
The FBAR filing requirements, authorized under one of the original provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act, have been in place since the early 1970s. In August 2009, the Treasury Department announced its intent to issue regulations clarifying the FBAR filing requirements and sought public comment on related issues.
FinCEN's mission is to enhance U.S. national security, deter and detect criminal activity, and safeguard financial systems from abuse by promoting transparency in the U.S. and international financial systems.