The SURFACE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2015 became law in late July, 2015. The tax provisions changed a number of due dates effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015 for partnerships, C corporations and S corporations. Surprisingly, was a change for FBARS or FINCEN114 that will now align commencing for the 2016 taxation year the FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) due date with the due date for individual returns, moving it from June 30 to April 15. The bill instructs the IRS to modify existing regulations to reflect the changes to tax return filing deadlines.
This will mean that for 2016 tax return filers the FBAR will be due April 15, 2017 which is the normal due date for U.S. persons residing in the U.S. on April 15th. It appears that alignment will also mean that the automatic extension to June 15 for those residing outside of the U.S. will be accepted as not late, but more importantly, it appears that if the regulations offer full alignment, the tax return extension form 4868 that provides an extension to October 15th for individual taxpayers will also apply. This is a welcome change as the FBAR presently offers no filing extensions and invokes the significant penalty provisions for late filing without an accepted reasonable cause argument. Furthermore, the amnesty programs such as the Streamlined Procedure would be affected as well.
Original Post By: Larry Stolberg