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E-Filing Requirement for FBAR

August 10, 2013 0 Comments

Effective July 1, 2013, those required to file FBARs (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) must do so online through an e-filing portal on the Department of the Treasury’s website.

E-Filing was actually required as of July 1, 2012 for all reports submitted to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury (FinCEN), but a general exemption was granted for FBAR filings until June 30, 2013.

But what happens if a paper FBAR is submitted in error?  According to FinCEN’s website, “FinCEN may impose civil money penalties for noncompliance with our regulations, including $500 for each negligent currency transaction or suspicious activity reporting violation under 31 C.F.R. § 1010.820.”  See

Client’s who are required to file an FBAR should contact their tax-preparer to ensure compliance.

The IRS also released a statement concerning the e-filing requirement:

Effective July 1, 2013 – Electronic filing of FBARs is mandatory

E-filing is a quick and secure way for individuals to file FBARs. Filers will receive an acknowledgement of each submission. For more information about electronic filing, read the FinCEN news release . Help with electronic filing technical questions is available at or through the BSA E-Filing Help Desk at 866-346-9478.

There are now procedures to allow the filing of an FBAR by a third party (such as a paid preparer or a spouse) on behalf of the person who has the obligation to file an FBAR. For information pertaining to authorizations for third parties to electronically file and sign FBARs on behalf of an obligated filer, see FinCEN FAQ, Understanding What BSA E-Filing is and What It Offers (June 2013).

To register for the e-filing service, visit the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing System here or paste the following link into your browser:

For more questions and answers from FinCEN about the e-filing requirement, visit them online at