FinCEN Clarifies Signature Authority Definition in Final Guidance on FBARs

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) unveils final rules on the scope of those required to file the Report of Foreign Bank Account (FBAR), clarifying the definition of those required to file because they have signature authority over an account and making a host of other changes. The signature authority issue drew dozens of comments after FinCEN and IRS unveiled proposed guidance last February. Under the new guidance, FinCEN stresses that signature or other authority means the authority to control the disposition of assets in a financial account by “direct communication” to the person with whom the account is maintained.