IRS Form 5471
The IRS Form 5471 is an extremely complex form that is used to satisfy the reporting requirements of two esoteric sections of the Internal Revenue Code: 26 U.S.C. § 6038 (“Information reporting with respect to certain foreign corporations and partnerships”) and 26 U.S.C. § 6046 (“Returns as to organization or reorganization of foreign corporations and as to acquisitions of their stock”).
As long as Form 5471 requirements are met, the Form must be filed by certain U.S. citizens and residents who are officers, directors, or shareholders in specified foreign corporations with their US tax returns. Failure to file Form 5471 or failure to file a correct Form 5471, can result in steep penalties.
Form 5471 Penalties: Failure to file information required under section 26 U.S.C. § 6038(a)
From the outset, it is important to note that 26 U.S.C. § 6038 applies to two different parts of Form 5471: the Form 5471 proper (i.e. the first four pages containing the identifying information and Schedules A through I) and Schedule M of Form 5471. Failure to file either is enough to trigger a $10,000 penalty for each annual accounting period of each foreign corporation. If the IRS sends the taxpayer a notice of a failure to file, an additional $10,000 penalty (per foreign corporation) will be charged for each 30-day period (or fraction thereof), during which the failure continues after the 90-day period in which the notification occurred, has expired. This additional penalty is limited to a maximum of $50,000 for each failed filing.
Furthermore, there is an income tax penalty associated with the failure to comply with 26 U.S.C. § 6038 in a timely manner – the taxpayer may be subject to a 10% reduction of certain available Foreign Tax Credits. A further 5% reduction may be applied for each 3-month period (or fraction thereof), during which the failure to timely report or file continues after the 90-day period of IRS notification has expired. (26 U.S.C. § 6038(c)(2) places certain limitations on this penalty).
The Second Set of Form 5471 Penalties: Failure to file information required by 26 U.S.C. § 6046 and related regulations (Form 5471 and Schedule O)
In addition to 26 U.S.C. § 6038 Form 5471 penalties, there is also an additional set of Form 5471 penalties associated with 26 U.S.C. § 6046 (Form 5471 and Schedule O). Failure to comply with 26 U.S.C. § 6046 will subject the taxpayer to another $10,000 penalty for each failure for each reportable transaction. Additionally, if the failure to report or file continues for more than 90 days after the date the IRS mails notice of this failure, an additional $10,000 penalty will apply for each 30-day period (or fraction thereof) during which the failure continues after the 90-day period has expired. This additional penalty is limited to a maximum of $50,000.
Form 5471 Non-Compliance May Result in Criminal Penalties
In addition to civil penalties under 26 U.S.C. § 6038 and 26 U.S.C. § 6046, criminal penalties may apply to Form 5471 filers in certain circumstances. In particular, a willful failure to file an accurate Form 5471 may activate the broad provisions of 26 U.S.C. § 7203 (“Willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax”), 26 U.S.C. § 7206 (“Fraud and false statements”), and 26 U.S.C. § 7207 (“Fraudulent returns, statements, or other documents”).
Form 5471 Penalties and Persons Other Than the Filer
Contact Sherayzen Law Office NOW For Help With Form 5471 Penalties and Compliance
If you partially or fully own a foreign corporation, you may be subject to the Form 5471 requirements. As explained in this article, failure to timely and/or correctly comply with Forms 5471 may result in steep Form 5471 penalties.
This is why you should contact the experienced Form 5471 tax professionals of Sherayzen Law Office. We can help you prepare and file your Form 5471 as part of your annual compliance as well as help deal with the Form 5471 voluntary disclosure. So, Call Us Now to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!