Alert February 28, 2012

FinCEN Issues Notice Concerning Temporary Exemption from Mandatory Electronic Filing of FBARs and Describes Other FinCEN Electronic Filing Requirements

On February 24, 2012 the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a notice (the “Notice”) in which it announced a general temporary exemption from mandatory electronic filing with FinCEN of Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) until July 1, 2013.  Prior to the granting of the temporary exemption, the deadline for filing FBARs electronically was July 1, 2012.  The exemption from electronic filing does not relieve individuals and businesses from a requirement to file an FBAR in non-electronic form.  In December 2011, FinCEN announced that it was extending, to March 31, 2013, the deadline for financial institutions’ mandatory use of FinCEN’s new Currency Transaction Report form and new Suspicious Activity Report form.

FinCEN also reminded financial institutions that they must begin electronically filing all reports to FinCEN other than a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments (CMIR) and a Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business (Form 8300) by July 1, 2012.

The Notice also describes the process that a financial institution must use if it wishes to apply to FinCEN for a limited duration hardship exemption from the electronic filing requirements.