FinCEN Releases Test Site for the New CTR and SAR

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has updated the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing System’s User Test System website to allow for testing submissions of batch and computer-to-computer filings of FinCEN’s new currency transaction report (CTR) and suspicious activity report (SAR). Additionally, the site offers a preview of the future PDF versions of these new reports, enabling credit unions to file individual reports—otherwise known as discrete filing.

The BSA E-Filing System will begin to accept filings of these new reports in March 2012. The site will also make available and begin to accept the discrete filing of PDF versions of the reports on that same date. If credit unions wish to use the new forms, they must use the E-Filing System, as FinCEN will not accept paper submissions of the new forms.

To set up an account on the User Test System, click on the “Become a BSA E-Filer” button within that site and follow the steps to enroll. Users should be aware that the testing environment is separate and distinct from FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing system.

FinCEN recommends that the person who will be uploading the test file be listed in the “User Information” section at the top of the application. Within two business days, FinCEN will send an email to the approved user identified in the application containing the user ID and specific instructions on how to create and upload a test file.

FinCEN further announced on Dec. 20, 2011, that the mandatory use of these new reports would take effect on March 31, 2013. FinCEN will continue to accept submissions to its BSA E-Filing System that use the most current “legacy” forms (such as the CTR, CTR by Casinos, and industry-specific SARs) until the mandated use of the new reports in 2013. Accordingly, for approximately one year, credit unions will be able to file either the legacy forms or the new reports.

FinCEN has set up a BSA E-Filing Help Desk to assist credit unions with the new forms.  It can be reached at 866.346.9478 (option 1) or via email at The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. PST and is closed on Federal holidays.


Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465,

Posted in Compliance News, Events, NCUA.