The IRS requires annual reporting of a wide range of assets held outside the US, including:

  • Foreign bank accounts, investment accounts, and other financial accounts
  • Foreign life insurance and mutual funds
  • Pensions you expect to receive from foreign employers (even if you don’t currently receive distributions)
  • Ownership in foreign companies (including family businesses), partnerships, or trusts
  • Ownership of personal retirement accounts (e.g., ISAs) or Superannuation Funds

Not reporting your foreign financial assets could result in penalties of $10,000, $25,000, or $100,000 per missing, incomplete, or improperly filed form—even for “regular people” who didn’t know they needed to report. These penalties are also assessed automatically for the late filing of certain informational forms.