Form 8865 Penalties

IRS Form 8865 (“Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign partnerships”) is used to report information required under IRC section 6038 (reporting with respect to controlled foreign partnerships), IRC section 6038B (reporting of transfers to foreign partnerships), and IRC section 6046A (reporting of acquisitions, dispositions, and changes in foreign partnership interests) for those taxpayers who are required to file.

In a previous article, I broadly described the four categories of filers who are required to file the form. This article will examine the penalties that may be imposed for failure to comply with the IRS requirements.


A. Failure to Timely Submit all Required Information Concerning Category 1 and 2 Filers

Form 8865 must be filed along with an income tax (or partnership or exempt organization) return by the due date, including extensions, of the return. For persons who must file Form 8865, but who are not required to file an income tax (or other applicable) return, the form must be submitted to the IRS at the time and location that such a return would have been filed, if the person had been required to do so.

A $10,000 penalty may be imposed (for each tax year) of each foreign partnership for a failure to furnish all of the necessary information by the required time. Further, if the information is not filed within 90 days after the IRS has mailed a notice of the failure to a U.S. person, another $10,000 penalty per foreign partnership may be charged for each 30-day period (or fraction thereof), during which the failure continues after that 90-day period has expired. This additional penalty is limited to a maximum of $50,000 for each failure.

Additionally, any person who fails to furnish all of the necessary information within the required time period will be subject to a reduction of 10% of the foreign taxes credit under IRC sections 901, 902, and 960. Furthermore, an additional 5% reduction will result for each 3-month period (or fraction thereof), after the 90 day time period, in which the IRS mailed the notice of the failure, has expired. IRC section 6038(c)(2) limits the amount of this penalty.

The above-mentioned penalties have a much broader application. They may also apply to any person who does not meet the “constructive owners” exception (contact an international tax attorney for details with respect to this issue) but who files Form 8865 stating that the exception is met. Likewise, where another person files under the “multiple Category 1 filers exception” (see below) for the taxpayer who is required to file Form 8865 and the filer fails to accurately complete the Form and applicable schedules, the same drastic penalties may apply to the taxpayer (even though the actual filer, and not the taxpayer, is at fault).

Generally, the “multiple Category 1 filers exception” provides that, if during the tax year of a partnership more than one U.S. person qualifies as a Category 1 filer, only one of the Category 1 partners may be required to file Form 8865

Finally, the criminal penalties under IRC sections 7203, 7206, and 7207, may also be applied to the above-mentioned groups for failure to file or for filing false or fraudulent information. You will need to consult an international tax attorney to determine whether criminal penalties may potentially apply in your situation.

B. Failure to File Required Information Concerning Category 3 Filers

The penalties for the Category 3 filer (see this article for definition) may be truly draconian. Where a Category 3 filer fails to properly report a contribution to a foreign partnership that is required to be reported under section 6038B and applicable regulations, the filer may be subject to a penalty equal to 10% of the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution. In addition to the penalty, the person must treat the contributed property as having been sold at the fair market value at the time of transfer, and recognize gain on the disposition for tax purposes. Unless the failure resulted because of intentional disregard, this penalty may be limited to a $100,000.

C. Failure to File Required Information Concerning Category 4 Filers

Any person who fails to accurately report all of the required information under section 6046A (reporting of acquisitions, dispositions, and changes in foreign partnership interests) may be subject to a $10,000 penalty.

If the failure to report continues for more than 90 days after the IRS mails a notice of the failure, an additional $10,000 penalty will apply for each 30-day period (or fraction thereof) that the person fails to correct the failure, after the 90-day period has expired. This additional penalty will be limited to $50,000.

D. Failure to Report Treaty-Based Return Positions

Persons who are claiming a treaty-based position that an existing treaty between the US and another nation either overrides or modifies any IRC provision, or reduces, or possibly reduces, a tax incurred at any time, must file Form 8833 (“Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b)”). Failure to file this form for a treaty-based position may result in a $1,000 penalty Under IRC section 6712. For C corporations, the penalty is $10,000.

Correcting Form 8865

Because of the severity of the penalties that may apply for an erroneous or incomplete Form 8865, individuals should be aware of the procedures available for correcting the form, if necessary. If an incorrect or incomplete form has been filed, a corrected form should be filed with an amended tax return (stating “corrected” at the top of the form), and a sheet attached specifying and explaining the corrections.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office For Legal Advice In Dealing With Form 8865 Penalties

Form 8865 penalties can be extremely large, and, in certain circumstances, disastrous to your personal and financial life. Therefore, if you believe that you are potentially facing a Form 8865 penalty, contact Sherayzen Law Office immediately for a legal advice. Our experienced international tax compliance firm will vigorously and professionally defend your interests, represent you in all of your IRS dealings, and strive to achieve the most favorable outcome while dealing with this highly complex and stressful situation in an expeditious manner.