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For those who have the patience (not to mention the intestinal fortitude) there is an interesting discussion over on Phil Hodgen's site about PFIC/CFC filing requirements.

Their conclusion is mind numbing; that due to conflicting and/or overlapping US tax code sections, it is entirely possible that the same asset must be reported every year on 4 different forms! (FBAR, 8938, 8621, 5471.)

Is my foreign holding company a PFIC?
 

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Sure, that's possible. It's also possible you have to report the same asset on FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid), a will, as part of divorce proceedings....

This is called "life." Sometimes there's duplicative reporting in life. It doesn't mean one shouldn't advocate for reducing duplicative reporting, but it's unreasonable to expect that all duplicative reporting will be eliminated.
 

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Sure, that's possible. It's also possible you have to report the same asset on FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid), a will, as part of divorce proceedings....

This is called "life." Sometimes there's duplicative reporting in life. It doesn't mean one shouldn't advocate for reducing duplicative reporting, but it's unreasonable to expect that all duplicative reporting will be eliminated.
I'm talking apples; you're talking oranges, BBC. Except for FBAR all that reporting goes to one place...the IRS. How many times do they need to hear the same information?

Everybody expects that each bureaucracy one comes into contact with will want similar information, but only the IRS wants the same stuff more than once. That's not much of a life and fortunately its not my life!
 

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Except for FBAR all that reporting goes to one place...the IRS.
Glad we cleared up those apples then.

How many times do they need to hear the same information?
Once, one would hope. That said, the three remaining forms don't request exactly the same information. There's some overlap, but it's by no means complete overlap. Maybe Congress (currently under Republican Party control) could find a way to reduce this overlap?

In the meantime, fortunately there's a newfangled invention called tax preparation software, some of it free, that prompts you for the information once then figures out how to drop that information (some of which is duplicated, some of which is not) onto particular reporting forms.

Everybody expects that each bureaucracy one comes into contact with will want similar information, but only the IRS wants the same stuff more than once.
Oh dear, no, not only the IRS, and I don't get out very often. ;) You'd be really angry how many times you get asked the same question in a hospital or in a police interrogation. :)

And isn't it shocking that the IRS asks for your name and Social Security number on every form. The outrage! :)

Yes, I'm having fun with you, Maz57. Hope you're taking it in good stride. In all seriousness, though, I'm right there with you on many issues, but I take them in priority order.
 

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Everybody expects that each bureaucracy one comes into contact with will want similar information, but only the IRS wants the same stuff more than once. That's not much of a life and fortunately its not my life!
Actually, the French Fisc is also well known for asking for the same information multiple times in the same filing. Over here, you report your foreign income along with the regular income, and then again on a special form indicating the nature and source of your foreign income. (Fortunately, however, the French system is a declarative system, not one where you have to declare and then compute your own taxes.)

No, the issue is that Congress makes changes to the tax laws in little bits and pieces, with no consideration of what's already in place, and then dumps their legislation on the IRS, charging them with converting it all to "regulations." Everyone admits the system is a mess, but so far there is nothing but talk about "overhauling" the tax system to actually simplify it.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Oh dear, no, not only the IRS, and I don't get out very often. ;) You'd be really angry how many times you get asked the same question in a hospital or in a police interrogation. :)

And isn't it shocking that the IRS asks for your name and Social Security number on every form. The outrage! :)

Yes, I'm having fun with you, Maz57. Hope you're taking it in good stride. In all seriousness, though, I'm right there with you on many issues, but I take them in priority order.
I'd be disappointed if you didn't, BBC. I can take it. Fortunately for me, I don't spend time in hospitals and have never been interrogated by the police, so I have zero experience in such situations. I do hope your knowledge of police techniques is strictly second hand!

I do admit to a total lack of patience with stupid forms, no matter what the bureaucracy. Naturally, that made me a very poor candidate to be a US taxpayer. Thank God I discovered my US tax obligations and took the necessary steps to exit the system without ever having to report the years in which I was both self-employed and a company owner. I do have a few friends in exactly that situation and based on our conversations, I don't think any of them have ever filed a "correct" US return, if that is even possible. The good news is that nothing bad has happened to any of them. (On the other hand, nothing bad has happened to those who ignored the whole thing and chose to not file US returns at all.)

I just offered the Hodgen discussion as an example of how conflicting, overlapping US rules can produce some pretty bizarre results. Angry, no. Bemused, definitely.
 
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