October 1, 2009 - Phil Hodgen

FBAR filing when your tax return is on extension

If you have filed for an extension of time to file your Federal tax return, and if you need to file your 2008 version of the Form TD F 90-22.1 (PDF) (For The Love Of God Would Someone Please Rename and Renumber That Form!!!!), the date you have to keep in mind is October 15, 2009.

Routine disclaimer, warning shot, and pre-emptive strike

This blog post — indeed, the entire internet — is not written with you in mind and is not legal or tax advice to you. Do your own research. Figure out what the tax rules mean to you and your particular situation.

U.S. persons living abroad

If you are a U.S. citizen or green card holder who is outside the United States, you have the ability to get an extension to file your tax returns. The extended due date will be December 15, 2009.

Note! This extension of time does not fall on your head like a Christmas pony. You have to actually do something to get it. So do it. I’ll wait here until you get back. 🙂

(Phil whistles and gazes at the clouds while you are away.)

Right. Now that you have until December 15, 2009 to file your tax returns, you can proceed with the Form TD F 90-22.1 part of the job.

On a regular extension of time until October 15, 2009

If you are on a normal extension of time for filing your income tax return — the due date is October 15, 2009 — the critical piece of information to know is whether you really filed a valid extension request. Let’s say you did.

Getting the FBAR to Detroit

During the entire FBAR kefluffle, the IRS has made all sorts of announcements and pronouncements, official and unofficial. Here’s what I make of it all:

If your income tax return is on a valid extension of time for filing, you have until October 15, 2009 to get your Form TD F 90-22.1 to Detroit, and if you do that, it will be timely for 2008.

This perception was confirmed by a telephone conversation our office had with the Supervising Special Agent of an unnamed IRS Criminal Investigations office yesterday.


You have to do the FBAR anyway. Get the thing in if humanly possible. Successfully executing this strategy means you can take 2008 off the table for FBAR penalties. Filing and failing doesn’t hurt–you’d be doing the form anyway.

There is only upside — no downside that I can see — to working like a navvy to get this done.

Voluntary Disclosure