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FinCEN Wants US Citizens to Disclose Offshore Crypto Holdings of $10K+

FinCEN, the U.S. Treasury Department wing tasked with monitoring potential legal violations of domestic financial laws, wants Americans to report if they have more than $10,000 in cryptocurrencies with foreign financial or virtual asset service providers.

According to Coindesk, just three weeks before the Treasury Department’s leadership is expected to change, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced its intention to amend the Bank Secrecy Act’s Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) regulations in a rulemaking notice published on New Year’s Eve. 

“FinCEN intends to propose to amend the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding reports of foreign financial accounts (FBAR) to include virtual currency as a type of reportable account,” according to a brief notice published Thursday.

It did not provide a timeline for when this new proposal might be published.

The rule change would seem to bring FBAR rules around crypto holdings in line with cash held outside the U.S. by citizens or other U.S. persons. It could have the most visible impact on users of crypto exchanges, such as Bitstamp and Bitfinex. 

At this time, FBARs must be filed by individuals who have an aggregate of over $10,000 in foreign financial accounts, including currencies. However, current regulations do not designate virtual currencies as an FBAR-reportable account. This amendment would end that exemption. 

FBARs must include the name on the account, account number, name and address of the foreign bank, type of account and the maximum value held during the year, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

Individuals who fail to file face various penalties, including fines, according to the website.

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