As in years past, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires individuals who have “a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account exceeding certain thresholds to report the account yearly by filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).  Beginning July 1, 2013, it was determined that FBARs must be filed electronically for all original and amended filings due on or before June 30, 2014.

In November 2013, it was announced that FBAR form TDF 90-22.1 would be replaced with the electronic Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114.  Filers must register as an individual or as a business and file their returns using the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) e-filing system for all FBAR filings due on or before June 30, 2014. The revised FinCEN Form 114 includes fields to designate a third party preparer as well as an explanation field for forms filed late.

An attorney, CPA or enrolled agent may still assist in the preparation of the BSA electronic filing forms. The preparer will be able to file the returns directly through the BSA website, or through their tax software, if filing is supported. In order to complete the filing, the preparer will have to obtain a signed consent form, FinCEN Form 114a Record of Authorization to Electronically File FBARs. If no FinCEN Form 114a is obtained, the client must file the form themselves using their own unique BSA e-filing account.