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New Rules Say ‘Foreign|Accounts’ Are Not in U.S.

WASHINGTON (CN) - U.S. residents with authority over accounts of more than $10,000 in foreign countries will have to file a report detailing the account, and to retain all records of the account for at least five years, according to regulations issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Financial agents controlling assets in foreign accounts are already required to report to the U.S. Treasury Department, but the new rules, which amend the Banking Secrecy Act, clarify that an account is not considered foreign if it is with an institution located in the United States.

In addition, the regulations make clear that everyone who is authorized, alone, or as part of a group, to control the disposition of money or other assets held in a foreign account through direct communication to the institution where the account is maintained, must file yearly with Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The clarifications were necessary, according to FinCEN, because there was confusion over whether funds maintained on behalf of foreign account holders and whether investment funds that maintained some foreign assets as part of a portfolio were required to file with the agency.

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