Mastering U.S. Tax Reporting of Foreign Retirement Account Ownership and Distributions

Case Study on Calculating Current Tax, Identifying Recognition Traps From Phantom Income, Detailing Informational Reporting

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

Conducted on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This webinar will provide tax advisers with a comprehensive guide to understanding the reporting requirements of U.S. taxpayers with beneficial interests in foreign/non-U.S. retirement accounts, including pensions, annuities and social security equivalents. The panel will discuss how to identify, classify and calculate potential US tax exposures and reporting obligations arising from such foreign plans and detail the informational reporting requirements. The event will contain illustrations in the form of a case study showing reporting from hypothetical foreign-based pensions and social security-type accounts.


One of the more complicated and often misunderstood tax scenarios for taxpayers and practitioners alike occurs when a U.S. taxpayer owns a beneficial interest in a foreign pension plan or non-U.S. social security-type of account.

U.S. citizens who live and/or work for significant periods of time in foreign countries, as well as non-citizens who relocate to the U.S., often have ownership in a foreign-based retirement account. Such assets create unforeseen tax and reporting obligations.

A first point to consider in evaluating the taxability of ownership of foreign retirement accounts is that most overseas plans are not “qualified plans” under IRC 401, which means the accounts generally do not qualify for tax-deferral treatment.

Taxpayers required to file a U.S. tax return must treat employer contributions to the foreign retirement accounts as taxable compensation, and any increase in the account’s value will be taxable in the year the growth occurs.

Another concern is the reporting obligation for ownership of foreign retirement assets. Taxpayers with foreign retirement account interests often must file informational reports, such as FinCen Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), FATCA reporting, and IRS Form 3520.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a comprehensive guide to the tax and reporting requirements of ownership of foreign retirement accounts.



  1. Classifications of foreign pensions, annuities and social security
  2. Differentiation between most foreign plans and U.S. “qualified plans”
  3. Income calculations—distributions and ownership
  4. Informational reporting
  5. Case study and illustrations (Canada, UK, Australia social security)


The panel will discuss these and other critical topics:

  • What are the reporting requirements for taxpayers owning foreign retirement accounts?
  • What are the tax consequences for U.S. citizens when employers make contributions to foreign retirement accounts?
  • What is the tax impact of distributions from foreign retirement accounts for non-U.S. citizens who reside in the U.S.?


Berg, Roy
Roy A. Berg, JD, LLM (US TAX)

Director, US Tax Law; Barrister and Solicitor
Moodys Gartner Tax Law

Mr. Berg has more than 23 years of experience in IRS tax controversy, cross-border tax matters, estate planning, and...  |  Read More

Dungog, Marsha
Marsha Laine Dungog, JD, LLM (US TAX)

Director, US Tax Law
Moodys Gartner Tax Law

Ms. Dungog has over 18 years of experience providing international tax consulting services to clients seeking to infuse...  |  Read More

Hawthorne, W. Aaron
W. Aaron Hawthorne

Managing Director
Andersen Tax

Mr. Hawthorne has over 19 years of experience advising families on tax and related matters. His primary areas of...  |  Read More

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