Offshore Tax Forms – IRS provides the following US IRS offshore tax forms for your convenience. The purpose is in keeping with our policy of full legal and tax compliance.

offshore tax forms

Moreover, this list of IRS offshore tax forms is meant to provide helpful information and is for convenience only. It is for those who are involved with or are contemplating offshore banking, offshore company formation, offshore trust formation or offshore asset protection.

Offshore Tax Compliance

The law allows for the ownership and use of an offshore corporation, company, trust or offshore bank account. However, there are tax laws that require compliance and we fully recommend that you follow them. You may use these legal tools for asset protection or other benefits. Regardless, we urge you to also comply with the tax and other legal codes in the jurisdictions which obligate you to do so. By and large, the US taxes its citizens and residents on their worldwide incomes. This is the case even if one has an offshore company or foreign bank account. It is also true even if one conducts the entire business overseas. There is a tax break available on a portion of your income if you actually live abroad for 330 full days during a 12-month period including a portion of the year in question.

Worldwide Taxation

Some believe that taxes are not due until they bring the money back to the US. This is not the case in most instances. Since 1964, US people report profit generated in overseas companies they own or control. Moreover, this is so even if it is in a foreign account, whether or you repatriate the money (i.e. bring it back into the US). It is still the case even if you generated the profit in a foreign company, when owned or controlled by US people. The IRS refers to this as a controlled foreign corporation (CFC).

Here is how it works. US people own or control 50% or more of the company, we refer to this as a CFC. When a US citizen or resident alien owns 10% or more of a CFC, they generally pay taxes on the corporate income as if they generated it in their own names.

Licensed Tax Advice

This is a simple explanation and there are some additional facets and some unique calculations, so seek licensed tax advice. There is no guarantee that the IRS offshore tax forms we have listed below are the only forms or the latest forms required. This is for informational purposes only. Thus, do not rely on this information as tax or legal advice. For tax advice, seek the advice of a knowledgeable, licensed accountant or attorney who specializes in offshore tax planning.

Most accountants are not familiar with tax code involving offshore corporations and offshore bank accounts. So it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced CPA who can work hand-in-hand with your accountant and who understands foreign legal tools and tax forms, offshore corporations and trust tax forms. Contact us for help finding CPAs who specialize in tax advice for US taxpayers with offshore interests.

List of Offshore Tax Forms

Trust Tax Forms

Form 3520 – Must be filed when you create or add to a foreign grantor trust. Reg. Section 16.3-1(d)(1) stipulates that one should fill out Form 3520 on or before the 90th day after after a US person either creates a foreign trust or transfers any money or property to a foreign trust. According to the instructions to Form 3520, it is due on the date of the filing of the taxpayer’s income tax return — including any extensions of time to file. So, it may be advisable to file on the earliest of the two dates.

Form 3520-A – Must be filed every year if you have created a foreign trust. Form 3520-A is due the 15th day of the third month after the end of the trust’s tax year. For a trust with a calendar year, the due date is March 15th. The trust can request an extension by submitting Form 2758 by the due date.

Form 5471 – May be required if you or your foreign trust have an interest in a foreign corporation. Form 5471 is due with the income tax return of the shareholder. For most individuals, that would be April 15th or the extended due date. For corporations with a calendar year-end, that is March 15th or the extended due date.

Form 8621 – Must be filed if you or your offshore trust or controlled foreign corporation have an interest in any offshore mutual fund or similar entity. Form 8621 is due with the income tax return of the shareholder. For most individuals, that would be April 15th or the extended due date. For corporations with a calendar year-end, that is March 15th or the extended due date.

Form 8865 – May be required if you or your foreign trust have an interest in a foreign partnership or LLC. Form 8865 is due with the income tax return of the shareholder. For most individuals, that would be April 15th or the extended due date. For corporations with a calendar year-end, that is March 15th or the extended due date.


Form 926 – To report transfers of property to a foreign corporation. One files this with the applicable return. This may be the form 1040 for individuals or 1120 for corporations, etc. This is usually April 15th for individuals.

LLCs or Disregarded Entities

Form 8832 – Entity classification election. Often filed for a foreign LLC to elect disregarded entity status; thus, the tax responsibility flows through to the owner(s) so that there is no tax at the company level. You file this form within 75 days of the formation of the company or within 75 days of the beginning of the year in which one desires the election.

Form 8858 – Transactions Between Foreign Disregarded Entity of a Foreign Tax Owner and the Filer or Other Related Entities. You file this form with the applicable return such as the form 1040 for individuals or 1120 for corporations, including extensions. This is usually April 15th for individuals or March 15th for calendar year-end corporations.

Bank Accounts

FBAR Form – The FBAR is an annual report, due April 15 following the calendar year reported. You’re allowed an automatic extension to October 15 if you fail to meet the FBAR annual due date of April 15. You don’t need to request an extension to file the FBAR. This form is due when, in the previous year, you have a foreign bank/financial account over $10,000 US. This not technically a tax form but a U.S. Department of the Treasury form. This form is due the following taxable year of the taxpayer.  (The previous due date was June 30 with no extension. This is not the case anymore as of this writing.)


Form 2555 – Foreign Earned Income – For Use by U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad to exclude a certain amount of foreign earnings from taxes and/or to claim the housing exclusion. For most individuals, the due date April 15th or the extended due date.

Foreign Assets

Form 8938 – Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets – For those with in interest in specified foreign financial assets, including bank and brokerage accounts. As of this writing the threshold for those living in the United States is $50,000 on the last day of the tax year ($200,000 for qualified expatriates) or more than $75,000 at any time during the year ($300,000 for qualified expatriates). Double those amounts for married couples filing jointly. Qualified expatriates referred to here generally means US citizens who have lived abroad for at least 330 days of the 12 month tax year. For most individuals, the due date April 15th or the extended due date.

Every 5 Years

Form BE-10 – Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad. Due every five (5) years by May 29. This form is due on every year that ends in a “zero” or a “five.” So, that is May 29 of 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, etc. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce requires this form. Failure to file can result in civil and injunctive relief. There are serious consequences for willful failure to file.

Offshore Tax Form Conclusion

We hope this information is helpful. If you aware of any updates to the information herein or of any new offshore tax forms, please feel free to inform us by filling out the inquiry form on this page. If you need to form an offshore company, trust or bank account, please complete a consultation form above or call the number on this page.


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