Form 3520 Basics

Form 3520 involves perhaps the most complex information reporting of all the information returns.  Form 3520 is a very complex tax form consisting of 6 pages and over 12 pages of instructions

  1. Certain transactions between a foreign trust and a US person.
  2. US persons may be required to include Form 3520 with their tax return if they are an owner or beneficiary of a foreign trust.  
  3. Receipt of large gifts or bequests from certain foreign persons (or foreign trusts or foreign estates).

Form 3520 page one is the basic information section in which you indicate what type of filer you are (Individual, Partnership, Corporation, Trust or Executor), and which of the four types of “reportable events” you were involved in. The following five pages of Form 3520, divided into sections titled Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV, are each applicable to one of these types of events.  Which part or parts you are required to complete depends upon which type of US person you are and what type of event you are reporting.

We have helped many people with their Form 3520 filing obligations.  It is strongly recommended that you treat this filing requirement with due care and get qualified tax legal advice. With the severity of the penalties, you do not want to miss the deadlines or file inaccurately.