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Be Careful if You Have a Foreign Account

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May 29th, 2012

Many farmers and business owners may have an investment in businesses located overseas.  If this investment is in the form of mutual funds or other passive holdings, there is usually no extra reporting to the IRS or Department of Treasury.  However, many of these same farmers own corporations with farm operations in perhaps Canada or Brazil.  In these cases, the farmer is required to report these holdings or the mere right to having signature authority over the company to the IRS, etc.

Also, if you own a foreign bank account, securities account, etc. and the value of these accounts exceed more than $10,000, than this needs to be reported, both to the IRS and to the Department of Treasury.  The reporting to the IRS is included with your tax return and the reporting to the Department of Treasury is on a separate form that is due by June 30 of each year with no extensions and it must be received by that date, not postmarked.

If you forget to report these holdings, in many cases, the penalty for not reporting these accounts can actually exceed the value of the account, so it is extremely important to review these accounts or companies with your tax advisor.

Paul Neiffer

Paul Neiffer

Paul Neiffer is a certified public accountant and business advisor specializing in income taxation, accounting services, and succession planning for farmers and agribusiness processors. Paul is a partner with CliftonLarsonAllen in Yakima, Washington, as well as a regular speaker at national conferences and contributor at agweb.com. Raised on a farm in central Washington, he has been immersed in the ag industry his entire life, including the last 30 years professionally. In fact, Paul drives combine each summer for his cousins and that is what he considers a vacation. Leave a comment for Paul. If you would like to leave a comment for Paul, follow the link above, however, please make sure to include your email address so that he can reply to your comment (your email address will not automatically show up).

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