Those with no financial interest in accounts given until 2012 to file

WASHINGTON -- Foreign bank account holders with no financial interest have been given a year extension in filing the required paperwork with the Treasury and Internal Revenue System.

The Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the IRS recently announced that this subset of individuals with only signature authority over certain foreign financial accounts have until June 30, 2012, to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts .

Earlier this year the IRS announced a special voluntary disclosure initiative designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help people with undisclosed income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes. Last year, the IRS cracked down on United States citizens with offshore bank accounts who were not reporting income or filing the proper reports.

It created a first voluntary disclosure period when people could come forward. The voluntary compliance period ended last year, but with people still coming forward the IRS decided to create another amnesty period.

"As we continue to amass more information and pursue more people internationally, the risk to individuals hiding assets offshore is increasing," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "This new effort gives those hiding money in foreign accounts a tough, fair way to resolve their tax problems once and for all. And it gives people a chance to come in before we find them."

The IRS decision to open a second special disclosure initiative follows continuing interest from taxpayers with foreign accounts. The first special voluntary disclosure program closed with 15,000 voluntary disclosures on Oct. 15, 2009. Since that time, more than 3,000 taxpayers have come forward to the IRS with bank accounts from around the world. These taxpayers will also be eligible to take advantage of the special provisions of the new initiative.

According to the IRS, part of the reason the IRS and FinCEN made the extension is they recently have been informed that the people with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, these kinds of foreign financial accounts are having difficulty compiling the information needed to file complete and accurate filings by the June 30 deadline.