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Additional foreign account reporting

Tax return laws

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10 new tax law changes to know

The IRS has made a concerted effort in recent years to track down money individuals stash in foreign accounts, or as the IRS refers to them, offshore accounts.

To this end, the agency made some changes to Schedule B, the form used to report interest and dividend earnings.

This tax filing year, the IRS is asking more questions on Schedule B and requiring some foreign account holders to file a new document, Form 8938.

The foreign account reporting thresholds for the new form vary, depending on whether a taxpayer lives in the United States or files a joint income tax return with his or her spouse. The specifics can be found in the Form 8938 instructions — or in your tax software or from your tax professional.

If you must report a foreign account, don’t even think about ignoring the IRS filing. The penalty for failure to file or for submitting an incorrect Form 8938 starts at $10,000.