Important Changes for US Tax Filers

You may have missed it, but on Friday, July 31st, President Obama signed into law the bill H.R. 3236, or “The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act”. I’m sure you are wondering, much as we did, what a bill, enacted to provide an extension of federal-aid for highway safety and further resource flexibility of health care services for veterans in the United States, has to do with US taxes.

The answer? A lot.

Hidden within this legislation, the bill made a number of changes to tax and report filing dates. Even more importantly for our clients, it changed the filing deadline for the FinCen114 Form, commonly referred to as the “FBAR”.

The FBAR, formerly due by June 30th each year, will now be due April 15th, coinciding with the normal annual due date for individual tax returns of those residing in the United States. Also new is the fact that the due date for filing FBARs can be extended for a 6-month period to October 15th.

But there were also other important changes or revisions to U.S. tax filing deadlines as well as on rules regarding inherited property within this Act that may be of importance to our readers. Here are a few quick bullet points on the key changes:

  • FBARs are now due on April 15th, but the FBAR filing deadline can be extended to October 15th.
  • Partnership tax returns are due by March 15th, NOT April 15th as in the past. If your partnership isn’t on a calendar year, the return is due on the 15th day of the third month following the close of your tax year.
  • C Corporation tax returns are due April 15th, NOT March 15th. For non-calendar years, it is due on the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the tax year.
  • S Corporation tax returns remain unchanged—they are still due March 15th, or the third month following the close of the taxable year.
  • In the case of property received from a decedent, the “step-up” in cost basis for appreciated property would apply only to property whose inclusion in the decedent’s estate increased the US estate tax liability on the estate.

For more information and detail on these important changes, please find a copy of an article written by Baker McKenzie on the subject (click here to read).

We hope you find this information of interest and strongly recommend that US taxpayers share this with their CPAs and estate planners. Not only is this information important in preparation for next year’s FBARs, but in the case of the revised cost basis rules on inherited property, it could have an impact on your current estate plan. We’d like to remind you that BFI can draw from the expertise of a network of legal advisors and estate planners in the event you may need to review your current situation.

We will certainly send a reminder early next year for the benefit of those having to file FBARs.

With warm regards from an even warmer Switzerland,

Bernarda Pesantez

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