FinCEN changes FBAR deadline again (updated) – it's now Oct. 31

The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has quietly removed from its website its surprise announcement, posted Oct. 14, that the final deadline for  Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) filings had been moved to Dec. 31, from Oct. 15.

Instead, it has clarified that the extended Dec. 31 FBAR filing deadline applied only to "victims of recent natural disasters", such as "victims of the California wildfires, the Iowa Derecho, Hurricane Laura, the Oregon wildfires, and Hurricane Sally".

But it has nevertheless now moved the deadline for everyone else back to Oct. 31 – in other words, extended it by two weeks.

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What visitors to the U.S. should know about the secretive Mr. FBAR

The introduction of the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) requirement in 1970, as a result of the Bank Secrecy Act of that year, may well be one of the most enduring legacies of the Nixon administration, says John Richardson, a Toronto-based lawyer who helps Americans with citizenship issues. Here, he reveals a little-known aspect of what the fine print of the FBAR legislation actually says, with respect to non-Americans who travel to the U.S., and who happen to have bank accounts back home...

FBAR deadline pushed back to Dec. 31; What the FBAR is, and why it matters

Editor's note: The news about the date when FBARs for the year ending on Dec. 31, 2019 are due has changed.
Please see our most recent report on this subject.

As U.S. tax experts will tell you, today, Oct. 15, is the extended deadline for all U.S. expats to have their 1040 tax returns filed; and, until yesterday, it was also "FBAR Day." Which is to say, the day when FBARs for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019 were also due. 

As of yesterday, though, FBAR Day has been pushed back to Dec. 31, 2020, according to a notice posted on the website of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which oversees FBARs, (even though the IRS handles tax returns).... 

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Record penalties sought in California in latest major FBAR case

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is seeking what is said to be a record US$119.6m in penalties over what it has claimed in California district court documents were violations of the FBAR regulations, which require Americans to disclose their overseas financial accounts above a certain amount each year.

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Events listing

A regular listing of events taking place around the world, and online, for American expatriates.  

October 29: American Citizens Abroad, UK Chapter's virtual Town Hall Meeting, 2pm to 4pm (London time) 

For the first time, Americans who aren't in London will be able to participate in this year's annual Town Hall Meeting of the UK Chapter of the American Citizens Abroad, as it's being held virtually, in response to the ongoing pandemic and government restrictions. 

Among the topics set to be discussed by ACA Board Member Mike Larsen (pictured above, second from left, during last year's Town Hall meeting) and the rest of his ACA UK colleagues will be the ACA's advocacy efforts. Leading this area of discussion will be ACA Executive Director Marylouise Serrato, who is based in the Washington, DC area, where ACA is based. Subjects she's planning to address, along with the aCA's legal counsel, Charles Bruce (second from left, above) will include the CARES Act; proposed new Covid-19 legislation; voting, and the ACA's crusade to convince Washington lawmakers to transition to a residence-based taxation regime, from the current and – for those resident overseas, problematic – citizenship-based structure.

Also due to speak will be Jack Leuchtman, Regional Federal Benefits Offiicer at the U.S. Embassy in London, who is expected to give an overview of the range of Social Security services available to American citizens living in the UK.; and Robert Paul, head of the U.S. Family Office operations at London & Capital, a London-based wealth manager specializing in looking after Americans resident overseas.

Paul, whose team manages approximately US$1.7bn of client assets, will address the asset protection options for UK-resident American citizens, as the investment landscape evolves over the next few months, and new regulations come into force.

The virtual Town Hall is free, but registration is required. To sign up, click here.

YouTube: 'Americans abroad: Should you give up your citizenship?' Aaron Katsman and John Richardson discuss the pros and cons of renunciation

Aaron Katsman is president and chief executive of Lighthouse Capital, a boutique wealth management firm based in Jerusalem, Israel; John Richardson is a Toronto-based citizenship lawyer and campaigner on behalf of American expat issues, who is himself an American. In this 18-and-a-half minute video, Katsman interviews Richardson on the reasons more Americans are (apparently, according to what data exists) renouncing their citizenships, and what those considering renouncing need to know. To view the video, click here. 


If you have an event you'd like to list here, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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Bright!Tax comment: The candidates' tax plans, and their likely implications for expats

Bright!Tax comment: The candidates' tax plans, and their likely implications for expats

Nov. 3, the date of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, is two weeks and one day away. Many expats will have voted by now, but for those who haven't –...