Certain Taxpayers Related to Foreign Corporations Must File Form 5471


Certain U.S. citizens and U.S. residents who are officers, directors, or shareholders in certain foreign corporations (including specified foreign corporations (SFC) in IRC 965) 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 by certain U.S. persons to satisfy the reporting requirements of IRC 6038 and 6046, and the related regulations. Substantial penalties exist for U.S. citizens and U.S. residents who are liable for filing Form 5471 and who failed to do so.

U.S. persons potentially liable for filing Form 5471 include:

  • U.S. citizens and U.S. residents,
  • Domestic corporations,
  • Domestic partnerships, and
  • Domestic estates or trusts.

The filing requirements for Form 5471 relate to U.S. persons who have a certain level of ownership in or relation to certain foreign corporations as described on the Instructions for Form 5471. Exceptions to filing Form 5471 include, but are not limited to, multiple filers of the same information, domestic corporations, and certain constructive owners. If a U.S. person does not file Form 5471 by reason of the multiple filers of the same information exception, such U.S. persons must attach a statement to their tax returns that includes information required by the instructions. 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 return (or, if applicable, partnership or exempt organization return) and filed by the due date (including extensions) for that return. A complete and separate form and all applicable schedules should be filed for each foreign corporation.

Failing to timely and accurately file Form 5471 may result in penalties and a reduction to foreign tax credit.