The FBAR is NOT in the mail

Accelerated deadline for 2012 US FBAR Filing:  Must be RECEIVED by June 28, 2013

US citizens who live abroad, including Canada, need to be aware of a quirk of this year’s calendar that accomplishes the impossible – adding pressure and confusion to the FBAR filing process.  While US tax law is not known for its benevolence, it does at least offer the “mailbox rule”, which (generally) considers a document submitted on the date that it is postmarked (international filers should check with their advisors to determine how this applies in their specific locale).  The FBAR, however, has its origins not in US tax law but rather in the Bank Secrecy Act and is not subject to the mailbox rule.  Therefore, an FBAR is only filed when it is received by the US government.  Because June 30th (the deadline for FBAR filing) falls on a Sunday this year, filers must allow sufficient time for their FBARs to be actually received by the IRS by Friday, June 28, the last business day before the deadline.  Failure to properly file an FBAR can give rise to civil (and in certain cases criminal) penalties starting at $10,000.

This additional complexity is yet another good reason to file an FBAR electronically.  By filing electronically, filers receive contemporaneous acknowledgement of their filing and save potential significant expense of registered mail or overnight delivery.  Filers should take note that a registration process is required as part of the filing and factor this requirement into their procrastination.  The US Treasury website for FBAR filing can be accessed here.  Filers intent on filing actual paper forms must submit these forms to the following addresses:

Mail:Express Delivery Service:
Department of the Treasury
Post Office Box 32621
Detroit, MI 48232-0621
IRS Enterprise Computing Center
ATTN: CTR Operations Mailroom, 4th Floor
985 Michigan AvenueDetroit, MI 48226


Given the accelerated deadline, please ensure that you file your FBAR on time to avoid nasty penalties!