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Foreign Shareholders? It's 250% More Expensive to File Late

Posted by Melissa Hollis to Taxes

Have a foreign shareholder? Don't be tardy when filing taxes!

Short Story: The penalty for failing to file your Form 5472(s) is increasing from $10,000 to $25,000. (This applies to each filing per month—which can add up fast!)


Q: Which businesses are affected by the penalty increase?

A: Businesses that are partially or fully-owned by one or more foreign owners or shareholders.

Form 5472 is a reporting requirement for all U.S. business entities who have owners or shareholders from outside the U.S. who own 25% or more of the company. These businesses must file a Form 5472 for each foreign owner/shareholder by the business’s tax deadline.


This is a requirement largely in part because those foreign owners or shareholders do not file taxes at all in the U.S. (If yours do, they might qualify as citizens or residents after all, which is worth double checking!)

To file this form, a tax preparer (like inDinero!) will need access to residency information and ownership percentages for each applicable shareholder.


Don't Wait—Foreign Filing Penalties Compound Quickly

As with all foreign filing requirements for U.S. entities, missing the filing deadline can get extremely expensive. That $25,000 is a monthly penalty for each qualifying owner/shareholder. For a company that has two foreign shareholders with 25% stake in the company, that would be $50,000 per month.


For more information on Form 5472 and other foreign filing requirements (including foreign bank accounts and subsidiaries), download The International Entrepreneur’s Guide to Filing U.S. Business Taxes:

The International Entrepreneur’s Guide to Filing U.S. Business Taxes for Your Global Startup


And for more resources for filing taxes for your business, download our three-piece tax pack:

business taxes

About the author

Melissa Hollis

Melissa Hollis is a content marketer and lover of all things West Coast. She enjoys waking up every day and getting the chance to rethink the obvious and enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs.

Disclaimer: The inDinero blog provides general information about tax, accounting, and business-related topics. It is not intended to provide professional advice. Read more in our Terms of Use.