Form 8621 PFIC Reporting: Navigating the Complex IRS Passive Foreign Investment Company Rules

Determining Which Assets Require PFIC Reporting, Calculating Tax and Interest, Leveraging QEF Elections

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

Conducted on Thursday, January 18, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will furnish tax advisers with a thorough and practical guide to the reporting of investments in a Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs) on IRS Form 8621. The panel will identify those investments that require PFIC reporting, outline the various elections available to taxpayers holding interests in PFICs and discuss the tax implications of those elections, and will provide an example of a completed Form 8621 to illustrate reporting requirements.


PFICs are among the most complex provisions affecting both individual and corporate taxpayers in the US. The PFIC provisions adversely impact US taxpayers, particularly affect those living or doing business outside the US with portfolio investments in non-US corporations and other entities treated as corporations for US tax purposes and mutual funds based outside the US. More challenging can be the lack of support for US tax reporting from these entities. Unlike U.S. based mutual funds, foreign investments have no obligation to furnish U.S. persons with any tax reporting information, so the responsibility falls entirely on the shareholder to determine ownership share and tax obligations arising from that share.

In recent years, the IRS has issued several notices to provide guidance in clarifying the reporting obligations of PFIC holdings. The result of this guidance is that more taxpayers are required to file Form 8621 than in the past.

The thresholds for determining whether an investment qualifies as ownership of a PFIC seems straightforward, but exceptions and exclusions to those definitions complicate matters. The Code provides for elections for the taxpayer to elect out of the “tax and interest” regime of IRC 1291. However, each method of electing out of PFIC treatment has tax and reporting consequences, and tax advisers must have a thorough knowledge of the tax impact of these elections in advising their clients.

Listen as our panel of expert advisers provides a thorough guide to reporting PFIC ownership shares, including determination of what assets must be reported as PFICs, performing the difficult tax calculations required by the PFIC reporting regime, and understanding the elections available to opt out of PFIC reporting.



  1. Identifying PFIC investments subject to filing requirements
  2. Filing thresholds and key exclusions
  3. Elections available to taxpayers
    1. Mark-to-market
    2. QEF election
  4. Completing Form 8621


The panel will discuss these and other important issues:

  • Types of foreign investments that must be reported as PFIC holdings
  • Calculating the “tax and interest” on PFICs under IRC 1291
  • Available elections to opt out of PFIC treatment
  • Tax impact of these elections, from a tax due and a reporting standpoint
  • Completing a Form 8621 to report PFIC holdings, including reporting elections


Aafi, Mo
Mo Aafi

Tax Manager
W.L. Dueck & Co.

Mr. Aafi’s practice focuses on assisting high net worth individuals and business...  |  Read More

Ghassemieh, Mehrdad
Mehrdad Ghassemieh

Harlowe & Falk

Mr. Ghassemieh's practice focuses on assisting companies of all sizes, in all business and tax matters,...  |  Read More

Knobler, Michael
Michael Knobler

Fenwick & West

Mr. Knobler focuses his practice on U.S. international and domestic tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, and...  |  Read More

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