The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has published a new Form 114a, Record of Authorization to Electronically File FBARs, for filers who wish to electronically file Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) jointly with their spouses, or through third-party preparers.

FinCEN’s current E-filing system permits only one digital signature per electronic FBAR filing, thus requiring married couples that owned joint foreign accounts to file separate FBARs through the E-filing system. In addition, the FinCEN E-filing system did not allow third-party preparers to file FBAR forms on behalf of others.

An executed copy of Form 114a does not need to be filed with FinCEN, but should be maintained by the taxpayer and made available upon request by FinCEN or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can obtain a copy of the new form here.

FinCEN also announced changes to the FBAR Form TD F 90-22.1 which include a new section for filers to give reasons for late filing as well as the addition of third party preparer information. In addition, FinCEN has made FBAR batch filing capability available for testing to permit the filing of multiple Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) forms, although it is possible for a batch to contain just one filing.

These new capabilities and the ability for filers to test their batch files are available on the BSA E-Filing Test site.

FinCEN anticipates the revised electronic FBAR and batch capability will be available for general use by September 30, 2013.