U.S. citizens and U.S. residents who are officers, directors, or shareholders in certain foreign corporations are responsible for filing Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations. The form and attached schedules are used to satisfy the reporting requirements of transactions between foreign corporations and U.S. persons. Substantial penalties exist for U.S. citizens and U.S. residents who are liable for filing Form 5471 and who failed to do so.
The categories of U.S. persons potentially liable for filing Form 5471 include:
- U.S. citizen and resident alien individuals,
- U.S. domestic corporations,
- U.S. domestic partnerships, and
- U.S. domestic trusts.
The filing requirements for Form 5471 relate to persons who have a certain level of control in certain foreign corporations as described on the Instructions for Form 5471. Please refer to those instructions for the details about who is liable for filing Form 5471.
Form 5471 should be filed as an attachment to the taxpayer’s federal income tax, partnership or exempt organization return, and filed by the due date (including extensions) for that return.
Failing to timely and accurately file Form 5471 may result in penalties and a reduction to foreign tax credit.