The Internal Revenue Service has opened a new telephone help line for questions about foreign bank account reports.

The IRS FBAR and Title 31 Helpline will connect practitioners and filers, both in the U.S. and abroad, with a team of specially trained technicians, examiners and specialists to answer technical questions about Title 31, also known as the Bank Secrecy Act. They can help taxpayers and tax practitioners with questions related to filing reports on foreign bank accounts. The IRS has been encouraging taxpayers to come forward and report their foreign bank account holdings to avoid stiff penalties.

To reach the FBAR and Title 31 Helpline, dial (866) 270-0733 for toll-free calls within the U.S., or (313) 234-6146 for callers outside the U.S. The latter is not a toll-free phone number.

Hours of operation for the FBAR and Title 31 Helpline are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern time. An IRS employee will respond to messages left after-hours.

The FBAR and Title 31 Helpline team answers questions related to reports required by the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, such as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the FBAR, and reports filed by money services businesses. The Helpline team can also assist with other Title 31 technical issues and BSA correspondence.

Taxpayers and practitioners can also find answers on the IRS's FBAR frequently asked questions page or by sending an inquiry to FBARquestions@irs.gov.