Is there disaster relief available for the FinCEN114?
Yes, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has provided relief to victims of certain natural disasters. The regular due date of Form FinCEN114 for tax year 2019 is October 15, 2020, however, the notice extends the due date for affected taxpayers to December 31, 2020. The notice states:
"WASHINGTON, D.C. –– FinCEN announced today [October 6, 2020] that victims of the California Wildfires, the Iowa Derecho, Hurricane Laura, the Oregon Wildfires, and Hurricane Sally have until December 31, 2020, to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for the 2019 calendar year. The FBAR for calendar year 2019 otherwise would be due on or before October 15, 2020. FinCEN is offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance as a result of the California Wildfires, the Iowa Derecho, Hurricane Laura, the Oregon Wildfires, and Hurricane Sally (the “affected areas”). Should FEMA designate FBAR filers in other localities affected by these natural disasters as eligible for individual assistance at a later date, they will receive the same filing relief automatically.
In addition, FinCEN will work with any FBAR filer who lives outside the disaster areas and whose records that are required to meet the deadline are located in the affected areas. FBAR filers who live outside the affected areas seeking assistance in meeting their filing obligations (including workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization), should contact the FinCEN Regulatory Support Section at 800-767-2825 or electronically at email@example.com."
To indicate that the FinCEN114 is being filed late because of an applicable disaster, do the following in Drake Tax:
- On screen 114, select Z from the Late-filing reason drop list.
- On the SCH screen:
- Choose F14 as the Type of attachment/statement number and title.
- Enter an explanation for the late filing that includes the applicable covered disaster.
- e-File Form FinCEN114 as usual (see Related Links below for details).
Note: The Drake Software e-File system will be unavailable 12/26/2020 to 12/31/2020 for e-Filing. If Form FinCEN114 needs to be filed during that time frame, the BSA website would need to be used instead.
Clarification of FBAR Extensions
On October 14, 2020, FinCEN posted an incorrect message on its Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing website. FinCEN removed it within 24 hours. The message incorrectly stated there was a new filing extension until December 31, 2020 for all filers of Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs). The extension until December 31, 2020, however, is intended only as an accommodation for victims of recent natural disasters covered in FinCEN's October 6, 2020 notice. FinCEN apologized for the error and any confusion this has caused, and has coordinated with the IRS to address the concerns of filers who may have missed their filing deadline due to the October 14, 2020 message. Filers who file their 2019 calendar year FBAR by October 31, 2020 will be deemed to have timely filed. As set out in the October 6 notice, FBAR filers impacted by recent natural disasters continue to have until December 31, 2020 to file their FBARs.
In Drake, preparers who missed the October 15 deadline can file these returns by including a late filing reason of "FinCEN extended deadline October 31, 2020." Returns must be filed by midnight on Saturday, October 31 to be considered timely filed.