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Form 5471 Categories of Filers: Determining the Proper Category and Filing Requirements

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will explain each category of filer on Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations. Our knowledgeable international panel will discuss relative and recent legislation, the accompanying Form 5471 schedules that must be filed by category, and the exceptions to the Form 5471 filing requirements and requirements to file specific schedules.


Form 5471 is one of the most challenging information returns filed by taxpayers. One of the most challenging decisions tax professionals must make is whether or not the return is required. A taxpayer's filing category determines whether a Form 5471 is required and which of the many supporting schedules are needed. An inaccurate decision could be costly since incomplete filings or not filing carries a $10,000 penalty.

International taxpayers must choose between nine categories since subcategories a-c were added to categories 1 and 5 in 2020. These categories were added to accommodate filers subject to the downward attribution rules after the repeal of Section 958(b)(4).

There are exceptions to the filing requirements. Revenue Procedure 2019-40 provides relief for taxpayers who meet a safe harbor for determining CFC status. Foreign tax advisers need to thoroughly understand the current categories of filers and the corresponding Form 5471 filing obligations of taxpayers with foreign interests.

Listen as our panel of international tax filing experts walks you through determining the appropriate category on Form 5471 for multinational taxpayers.



  1. Legislative history
  2. Form 5471 categories
  3. Definitions
  4. Categories 1-5
  5. Exceptions
  6. Incomplete or missed filings
    1. Consequences
    2. Solutions


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • Identifying category 1-5 filers and the relative Form 5471 reporting obligations
  • Which specific Form 5471 schedules are needed based on a filer's category
  • What Form 5471 exceptions are available, and what are the qualifications for these exceptions?
  • What are the potential consequences of incorrect Form 5471 filings?


Diaz Colon, Franchelly
Franchelly (Chelly) Diaz Colon, CPA, MSL

Senior Manager
WilkinGuttenplan CPAs & Advisors

Ms. Diaz Colon specializes in international tax matters including CFC/PFIC rules, cross-border mergers and...  |  Read More

Wigg-Maxwell, Paul
Paul Wigg-Maxwell

Wigg-Maxwell, Esq

Mr. Wigg-Maxwell established his practice in 1994 with an emphasis on matters relating to international business, tax,...  |  Read More

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