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The IRS has made it easier for U.S. individuals that hold interests in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) or Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) to defer the income earned within the plan until it is distributed.

The IRS is eliminating the annual reporting requirement that has applied to U.S. individuals holding these plans and in addition, the IRS is providing retroactive relief to eligible taxpayers who failed to properly file the appropriate forms in the past.

As a result of this new change, many U.S. individuals with RRSPs or RRIFs will now automatically qualify for tax deferral similar to those available in U.S. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans. Generally, U.S. individuals will now qualify for this tax deferral as long as they file and continue to file U.S. income tax returns.

Previously, U.S. individuals who held interests in RRSPs or RRIFs were required to annually file Form 8891 with their U.S. tax return to defer tax on income accruing in these retirement accounts until it is distributed. If the form(s) were not properly filed with the taxpayers  annual U.S. income tax return, income earned in their RRSP or RRIF could have been taxable, even if it was not distributed.

The IRS found that many individuals failed to properly prepare and file Form 8891 each year and report details about each of their RRSPs and/or RRIFs including contributions made, income earned, distributions received and the year end balance. The IRS has now eliminated Form 8891, and U.S. taxpayers are no longer required to file this form for any year, past or present.

6 Responses to “IRS Eliminates Requirement To File Form 8891 For Canadian Retirement Plans”

  1. John Damon says:

    The tax return still has to be paper filed, as the Canadian pension provider does not issue a FEIN for USA efiling.

  2. John Damon says:

    You still have to paper file, as the Canadian pension plan providers do not have a US Fein to enter for e-filing.

  3. Linda says:

    Hi, I’m a little confused. If form 8891 is no longer required to be filed then why is it still accessible on the IRS.gov website and there is no mention that this form is no longer required on that page? or why not take down this page?


  4. The guidance is right here on Rev. Proc. 2014-55 from the link above – on page 10, they clarify that form 3520 (or 3520-A) would not be required but you would be required to report the RRSP on the 8938.

    The English translation of “This revenue procedure does not, however, affect any reporting obligations that a beneficiary or annuitant of a Canadian retirement plan may have under section 6038D” is that one is required to report the RRSP on the form 8938. Since form 8891 will be obsoleted (apparently in IRS languages obsolete is a verb – who knew), the RRSP will have to be reported on the face of the form 8938 (can no longer be reported by reference to form 8891)

  5. Johas says:

    Does that mean the RRSP still doesn’t have to be reported on the 8938?

    • Rob Brown Brown, CA says:

      The IRS has not released formal instructions on whether or not RRSPs or RRIFs will be required to be disclosed on the 8938. My assumption would be that they will require individuals to disclose their RRSPs and RRIFs on the 8938. We will post guidance once the IRS has provided formal instruction on this. Stay tuned.

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The information contained in this article is for general use only and should not be viewed as professional advice. Accounting and tax rules and regulations regularly change and individuals should contact a competent professional to obtain accounting and tax advice based on their specific situation.


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