The IRS issued a press release reminding people to file the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) by June 30.
The press release summarizes the major issues. I have two comments:
1. The civil penalties for failure to file the FBAR, as presented in the press release, are the worst-case scenario for “willful” failure to file. There is a lesser penalty regime for “non-willful” failure to file. Even these lesser penalties are significant and a wise taxpayer should do whatever necessary to avoid them.
2. The IRS did well to provide the address for delivery services such as FedEx to deliver the FBAR:
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Currency Transaction Reporting
985 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, Mich., 48226.
FedEx requires the sender to provide the recipient’s phone number. The IRS should have included this number in the press release, and they do show it on their website. If sending an FBAR by FedEx, as we did for a client last week, list the recipient’s phone number as 313-234-1062. For questions about how to fill out the FBAR, call 1-800-800-2877 and choose option 2.
Press release IR-2011-70 (email version posted on someone’s blog)