Do you have foreign accounts? Then the Highway Bill affects you.

That’s right. You’re not a truck driver, nor a construction worker. You merely drive on highways, and even that not every day. But if you have any foreign accounts, this bill that has just been passed in the Congress – affects you.

If you immigrated to the US or a US citizen living or investing abroad, you’re probably aware of the FBAR requirement – the requirement to report foreign bank accounts (including investment accounts, pensions, and what not).

Until now the deadline for FBAR filing was June 30th.

Not any more.

According to the report published yesterday in the Journal of Accountancy, the Highway Bill had some tax provisions, one of which changed the FBAR filing due date from June 30th to April 15th. It’s right there, section 2006.

That’s right, two and a half months earlier than before.

It’s a good thing and a bad thing.

It’s a good thing because now the FBAR should be filed at the same time as the regular tax return, so people won’t need to remember three months later that they need to file another piece of paper.

However, in many countries year-end reports only start flowing towards the end of the first quarter, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to gather all the needed information.

Fortunately, the provision also adds a new thing: extension. Now, FinCEN form 114 form due date can be extended for 6 months, like the regular tax return. That helps with the bad thing a bit.

So for all of you US citizens living abroad, L1/H1B/Green Card holders living in the US, and just visitors who happen to end up US tax residents for whatever reason – one more change to be aware of in the already convoluted US tax system.

Your Little Advisor

This is not a tax advice, and I’m not a tax adviser. For any specific tax issues please talk to a EA or CPA licensed in your State.

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