Mastering Form 5471 for Interests in Foreign Entities: Determining Ownership Share and Correct Filing Status

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

Conducted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This webinar will provide tax return preparers with a solid basis for handling difficult issues in completing Form 5471 (Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations). The panel will explain approaches for correctly identifying taxpayer categories and avoiding serious, but common, mistakes. In addition, the panel will highlight compliance and IRS audit issues that relate to disclosures on Form 5471.


Filing Form 5471 requires data reporting that ranges from simple to highly complex. Correctly completing the form involves hours of intensive work, including proper record-keeping and data analysis. U.S. individuals and entities that own, acquire or dispose of shares of a foreign corporation may be required to file Form 5471 with their income tax returns. U.S. officers and directors of these foreign corporations may also have reporting responsibility.

Learn from the experiences of tax advisors familiar with the compliance nuances, audit red flags, common pitfalls and reporting demands related to Form 5471. They will offer lessons from their years of experience to help you confront IRS reporting and compliance challenges.

The IRS emphasis on international tax compliance makes accurate compliance a greater priority. Though in past years the IRS imposed penalties for late or non-filing selectively, the Service recently started automatically imposing hefty penalties on late and non-filers. Without reasonable cause, failure to file penalties can be $10,000 or more for each year and the running of the statutes of limitation may be suspended.

Listen as our panel of veteran advisors identifies and explains the more difficult aspects of preparing Form 5471 for U.S. owned foreign corporations. The panel will outline approaches to help you properly identify taxpayer reporting categories, determine relevant direct, indirect and constructive ownership interests, identify common compliance mistakes, and stay ahead of IRS examination issues.



  1. Purpose of Form 5471
  2. Who is required to file
  3. Preparation of Form 5471
    1. Schedules
    2. Difficult compliance issues
  4. IRS enforcement and audit environment to date
    1. Background on Form 5471 penalties
    2. Penalty structure for Form 5471
    3. Use of Form 5471 as an IRS audit tool


The panel will review these and other key concepts:

  • Understand the purpose of Form 5471, the categories of U.S. persons required to file, and reporting requirements
  • Master reporting financial and operational information needed to complete the form
  • Grasp key U.S. international tax reporting rules and obligations of U.S. persons with interests in foreign corporations
  • Avoid audit red flags and common errors that the Service looks for when reviewing Form 5471


Dougherty, Alison
Alison N. Dougherty, J.D., LL.M.
Senior Tax Manager

Ms. Dougherty specializes in corporate tax, partnership tax, international tax and real estate tax. She has expertise...  |  Read More

John Samtoy
John Samtoy
Senior Tax Manager
Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt

Mr. Samtoy’s practice specializes in international tax compliance and consulting services, with a focus on...  |  Read More

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