Contributed by Dale Walters, CPA,PFS, CFP The government has responded to the needs of filers who submit Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) jointly with spouses or wish to submit them via third-party preparers (e.g. tax preparers). The branch of the government called the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) introduced FinCEN Form 114(a), Record of Authorization to Electronically File FBARs. A copy of this form would be maintained by the filer and the account owner, but not submitted to FinCEN. FBAR reporting is done on Treasury form TD F 90-22.1, however until now, this form was not allowed to be filed by anyone other than the owner of the accounts and it could not be filed electronically. Form 114(a) does not replace form TD F 90-22.1, it simply authorizes a spouse, filing jointly, and your tax preparer to file form TD F 90-22.1 on your behalf.
FinCEN is also introducing new space on the form for filers to provide reasons for late filing as well as the addition of third party preparer information. FinCEN anticipates the revised electronic FBAR and batch capability will be available for general use by September 30, 2013.