Foreign business tax returns

Whether you own a business in a foreign country, or you're looking to start one, our expat tax experts can help you understand how your foreign business affects your U.S. taxes.


If you own a business in a foreign country, you have to navigate additional tax complexities for your U.S. taxes. We have experienced advisors who can help explain your small business tax obligations and file the necessary U.S. forms to stay compliant, including Forms 5471, 8865, and 926. Whether you own a Private Limited in the U.K., a SARL in France, or GmbH in Germany, we’ve got you covered.

With the IRS’s increased scrutiny on foreign business compliance, and the addition of new complex tax law changes (like GILTI tax) that can drastically affect your tax return, it’s important to speak with an expert. We’ll walk you through your requirements to help reduce any tax exposure.

Starting a business abroad starts with talking to us

Looking to start a business outside the U.S.? You can trust our experienced advisors to help you understand your U.S. tax implications up front.

If you have one of these foreign businesses, our expat tax advisors can handle your filing

  • Sole Proprietors
  • Limited Companies
  • Partnerships
  • Trusts

Frequently asked questions

The IRS requires that you report your income statement and balance sheet from your foreign business, much like you would in the U.S. While these reports are mostly informational in nature, there can be very steep penalties for not filing them timely.

While you still need to report the income you earn from your company (whether that’s wages, dividends, or partnership income), you still must also report the activities of the business itself if your ownership exceeds certain threshold percentages.

This depends on what type of business it is, but the most common form is Form 5471, which is used to report an interest in certain foreign corporations. Another common form is Form 8865 used to report interests in partnerships abroad.

This can be quite complex. There are many details to consider when determining if one of these forms must be filed. Your ownership percentage, who else you own the business with, and your relationship to them all play a role. It’s usually best to discuss this with your tax advisor to get a handle on your overall situation.