The IRS needs information about U.S. persons' involvement and activities with foreign entities to determine compliance in the offshore area. Several IRC sections require information reporting by U.S. persons who own (or are treated as having an ownership interest in) or transfer property to these entities. In addition, there are substantial penalties imposed on the U.S. taxpayer for failure to report these transactions and/or relationships.
Numerous information returns are required with respect to the conduct of certain foreign activities by U.S. citizens, residents, and other entities. Such activities include:
- U.S. person creates or transfers assets to a foreign trust
- U.S. person receives certain foreign gifts
- U.S. person is treated as the "owner" of a foreign trust
- U.S. person owns 10 percent of a controlled foreign corporation
- U.S. corporation is 25 percent or more "foreign-owned"
- U.S. person transfers assets to a foreign corporation
- U.S. person owns 10 percent of a controlled foreign partnership