Earlier this month, USCIB joined several leading business groups in sending a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department, requesting less burdensome rules for Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) filings required by employees of worldwide American companies involved in global finance.
In the letter to James H. Freis, Jr., the director of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the business groups sought a reduced burden on employees of companies which report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The associations wrote: “Multinational companies are increasingly frustrated by changing rules that unnecessarily expand the FBAR filing requirements for their employees, create traps for innocent violations and potentially impose costly penalties.”
The letter stated that current FBAR rules are burdensome, complex and “create the potential for inadvertent errors by corporate finance employees.” It said companies do not want to subject their employees to tax penalties for inadvertent failure to follow the “confusing” FBAR rules.
The primary objective of FBAR filings is to help the government detect money laundering or other criminal activity through the use of foreign financial accounts. The associations emphasized in the letter that their members do not pose a meaningful risk of such activities, and their employees should not be exposed to penalties for not making individual filings in any case.
Signing the letter in addition to USCIB were the National Foreign Trade Council, Financial Executives International Committee on Taxation, Software Finance and Tax Executives Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, TechAmerica and Information Technology Industry Council.
Staff contact: Carol Doran Klein