On November 19, 2019, the IRS made changes to the process for submitting FBAR filing verifications. Before this date, those who were FBAR filers were able to obtain a verbal verification by telephone in certain circumstances. As of November 19, 2019, verbal verification of FBAR filing is no longer possible under any circumstances. Here, we take a closer look at the previous process and the difference that these new changes have made.
The FBAR Filing Verification Process Before November 19, 2019
When someone needs to file a FinCEN Form 114, they can obtain verification of the filing. This form is an FBAR or Report of Foreign Bank & Financial Accounts. Before November 19, 2019, FBAR filers were able to call a hotline to get verbal verification. This was available for anyone who was filing five or fewer FBARs. There was no charge levied for this service.
Nevertheless, some cases required written requests for verification. These were necessary for the following circumstances:
- If a person was filing more than five FBARs
- If a person required paper copies to file FBARs
- If authorized representatives had submitted the request for a copy or verification
If a person submitted a written request for verification of the FBAR filing, there was a $5 fee imposed. This was applicable for five or fewer FBARs. For every extra filing verification a person requested, there was an additional fee of $1. If a person needed copies of filed FBARs, there was an extra fee of 15¢ for each copy.
The New Process for Obtaining Verification of FBAR Filing
As of November 19, 2019, there will be no verbal requests accepted for FBAR filing verifications. Instead, taxpayers must submit all FBAR filing verification requests in writing.
This means that the fee structure outlined above will now apply to every verification request. The IRS now responds to written requests with a letter. In this letter, it will state whether there is evidence in the records that a person filed a FBAR and the date on which the filing occurred. The IRS will also include a copy of a filed FBAR with the letter if a taxpayer requests.
Why Is the IRS Making This Change?
Why has the IRS decided to require that all FBAR filing verification requests be made in writing and impose a fee in every case? The agency stated that it made the change in process so it can obtain documentary evidence of verification requests. There will also now be documentation of the IRS response to such requests.
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