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Form 3520-A Line by Line: Preparing Owner and Beneficiary Statements, Avoiding Penalties, Handling Missed Filings

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This webinar will provide trust and international practitioners with a line-by-line explanation of the filing requirements and examples of filing Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner. Our panel of international tax veterans will offer advice for unfiled returns and tips to efficiently prepare this form for foreign trusts and clients who participate in these.


Form 3520-A is required for foreign trusts with a U.S. owner. If the foreign trustee does not file, the U.S. owner must satisfy the reporting obligation. Similar to Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, Form 3520-A is used to report income, expenses, distributions, assets, and other key information about the trust itself and its beneficiaries. Form 3520-A also requires completion of a Trust Owner Statement and a Beneficiary Statement.

U.S. owners of foreign trusts treated as grantors under IRC Sections 671-679 must complete this form to satisfy its reporting obligations under Section 6048(b). Not complying can evoke a penalty that is the greater of $10,000 or five percent of the value of the beneficiary's portion of the trust; no statute of limitations would run on the imposition of these penalties. There are, however, several exceptions to the filing requirement. International tax advisers working with clients who are grantors of foreign trusts need to understand the filing requirements, exceptions, and how to properly prepare Form 3520-A and its required statements.

Listen as our panel of foreign trust experts discusses preparing Form 3520-A in order to meet the filing obligations under Section 6048(b) and avoid penalties.



  1. Form 3520-A: overview
  2. Who must file?
  3. Exceptions to filing requirements
  4. Penalties
  5. Handling missed filings
  6. Preparing the Form, Parts I - III
  7. Foreign Grantor Trust Owner Statement
  8. Foreign Grantor Trust Beneficiary Statement
  9. Additional filings and reporting requirements


The panel will cover these and other critical issues:

  • How to complete the Trust Beneficiary Statement
  • Best practices for handling missed required filings of Form 3520-A
  • When is the U.S. trust owner rather than the foreign trustee required to satisfy the filing requirements?
  • A line-by-line review of preparing Form 3520-A Parts I-III


Brister, Jack
Jack R. Brister, TEP

Managing Member
International Wealth Tax Advisors

Mr. Brister specializes in U.S. tax planning and compliance for non-U.S. families with international wealth and asset...  |  Read More

Samtoy, John
John Samtoy

Tax Partner
Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt

Mr. Samtoy’s practice specializes in international tax compliance and consulting services, with a focus on...  |  Read More

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