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 Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Recorded event now available

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 advisers 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 advisers 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


Learning Objectives

Upon completing this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Ascertain who is required to file Form 5471.
  • Determine the circumstances in which a U.S. person is deemed to own a controlling interest in a foreign corporation.
  • Establish when a U.S. person’s foreign stock ownership is not attributed to the U.S person.
  • Identify the different categories of filers and what each type of filer is required to complete on Form 5471.
  • Select the right form or forms that fulfill the taxpayer’s filing requirements, such as 5471, 8938, 926 and/or 8858. 


Alison N. Dougherty, J.D., LL.M., Director
Aronson, Rockville, Md.

Ms. Dougherty has extensive experience assisting clients with U.S. tax reporting and compliance for offshore assets and foreign accounts. She specializes in international tax compliance, planning and structuring as a subject matter leader of her firm's international tax practice. Her responsibilities include U.S. Federal and multi-state tax compliance for C corporations, S corporations, partnerships and individuals. She also provides transactional tax planning and structuring services.

John Samtoy, Tax Principal
Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Mr. Samtoy’s practice specializes in international tax compliance and consulting services, with a focus on individuals, closely-held businesses, and hedge funds. He has particular expertise in structuring and reporting foreign manufacturing arrangements and foreign holding companies, and is experienced in foreign asset disclosure requirements, as well as foreign trust and estate reporting.

EA Credit

Enrolled Agent credit processing is available for an additional fee per person.

EA Processing $5.00


CPE On-Demand

Includes video streaming of full program plus handouts (available within a week of the live webinar).

Strafford is a NASBA-approved CPE provider for On-Demand webinars.

This program is eligible for 2.0 CPE credits.

  • Field of Study: Taxes.
  • Level of Knowledge: Intermediate.
  • Advance Preparation: Printing and reviewing Program Outlines and materials.
  • Teaching Method: Seminar/Lecture.
  • Delivery Method: QAS Self-Study.
  • Prerequisite: Three years+ business or public firm experience at mid-level within the organization, preparing complex tax forms and schedules; supervisory authority over other preparers/accountants. Specific knowledge and understanding of Form 5471 (Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations); familiarity with the 5471 IRS penalty structure and key U.S. international tax reporting rules and obligations of U.S. presons with interests in foreign corporations.

On-Demand Webinar & CPE Processing $182.00

Recorded Event

Includes full event recording plus handouts.

Note: Self-study CPE and EA credits are not offered on recorded events.

Recorded Webinar Download $147.00

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Recorded Audio Download (MP3) $147.00

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Strafford is an IRS-approved continuing education provider offering certified courses for Enrolled Agents (EA) and Tax Return Preparers (RTRP).

Program Materials

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Program Materials

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EA Credit

Strafford is an IRS approved continuing education provider and this course is approved for 2 enrolled agent (EA) credit hours.

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