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Form 5471 online DE: What You Should Know

The form requires all information of U.S. shareholders about their ownership and control in foreign corporations. The shareholder information is used to determine if the individual meets the foreign corporation requirements for a U.S. shareholder. In some situations, foreign corporations are subject to tax obligations on the income or loss of their U.S. owners because certain U.S. tax laws apply to foreign corporations. For more on the foreign corporate income tax, check out this IRS publication about how it applies when you own a foreign corporation to determine your U.S. tax liabilities. The form has two parts: A. Information return: Report all information related to the ownership and control structure of the corporation as shown in the shareholder information. B. Schedule to report: For a U.S. shareholder owning stock in a foreign corporation, report the aggregate amount of the U.S. shareholder's income or loss, interest income or loss, and gross receipts or gross expenditures in all periods beginning on or after the date of the annual report. (This must be reported on the first day of the first taxable year that a U.S. shareholder will have active management of the corporation.) If you are a U.S. citizen or resident holding foreign assets, you might be required to file an information return if the value of these assets exceeds your U.S. threshold for foreign income tax withholding. Form 5471 Schedule to report: For a U.S. shareholder owning stock in a foreign corporation, include all income or loss of the foreign corporation in which you have an ownership interest. If the corporation has significant assets, such as real estate, machinery, or equipment, use Schedule A or Schedule B. For purposes of the foreign corporation requirements, the U.S. shareholder owns the shares on December 31, the first day of the first taxable year that the individual has active management. This date is the same as the date of the financial statement. So if the U.S. shareholder owns the shares on December 31 and on December 31 of each subsequent year, the taxpayer's share of an offshore corporation's income or loss (or other taxable income or loss) on that year's financial statement is taxable in the United States of America, not as a U.S. resident, and not as a foreign resident. For instance, if the foreign corporation has foreign tax obligations in excess of 1 billion, the shareholder would also have U.S. tax liability on any interest income or deduction that the corporation generated during that year.

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