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How to prepare DD Form 2981

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FAQ - DD Form 2981

What is the purpose of DD Form 2981?
All DD Forms 2981 are required to report foreign bank and financial accounts when the taxpayer has an account in a foreign bank. The purpose of this Form 2981 is to notify the IRS that the taxpayer should be required to report overseas bank accounts, which would prevent the government from claiming a foreign tax credit on these accounts. Also, the Form 2981 provides you with a means to report accounts maintained abroad by the taxpayer when no foreign tax credit is available at the time. Generally, any such accounts must be reported through the Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. How does Form 2981 report the foreign bank account to the IRS? On your Form 2981, you will be asked: Are you in the process of or have you completed the acquisition of foreign assets Is there any U.S. source income of any sort associated with the foreign assets being acquired Do you have an account held by a foreign government, governmental entity or international organization? Are there tax treaty benefits that are associated with the foreign assets that you are acquiring? What is the value of the foreign assets you purchased with your foreign tax credit? (This includes the tax benefits, tax write-off, and any other amount that the foreign government might claim) If you answer “yes” to any of the above questions, then you should file IRS Form 3949 with the foreign country. The form allows the IRS to make a determination whether the foreign tax credit was effectively used in a foreign country. What are some possible penalties due to failure to timely file Form 3949 with the foreign government? Failure to file Form 3949 within the 30-day period will result in penalties of 600 for each day the Form 3949 form is late, up to a total of 40,000. What if I did not answer all three questions “yes” to? If you answered “no” to the last 2 questions on the Form 2981 form, then you will have to file IRS Form 3949 with the foreign government. Please see IRM, Foreign Tax Credit Fraud and Penalty, regarding the penalty. If you did not answer any of the 3 questions, then you will need to file Form 3949 with the IRS.
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