Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more

Trust Distributions to Foreign Beneficiaries: Complex Planning and Calculation Challenges

Navigating the Interplay of Foreign Withholdings, Treaty Benefits, DNI Calculations, and Trust Compliance

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

This program is included with the Strafford CPE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford CPE+ Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will provide estate and trust tax advisers and compliance professionals with a thorough and practical guide to the tax compliance issues that fiduciaries face before making or allocating U.S. domestic trust or estate distributions to foreign beneficiaries. The panel will explain how to determine the U.S. status of foreign beneficiaries for U.S. tax purposes, detail how to calculate required withholding tax and net distribution amounts, discuss DNI implications of foreign beneficiaries, and explore the application of common tax treaty benefits.


Among the most complex tasks for fiduciaries and their tax advisers is distribution planning for domestic trusts with foreign and nonresident alien beneficiaries. The presence of a non-U.S. person as a beneficiary complicates trust status and imposes significant additional duties on executors and fiduciaries, and tax advisers should be well-versed in the differences in treatment between trusts with foreign beneficiaries as opposed to all domestic beneficiaries.

Merely having a foreign beneficiary adds layers of withholding and compliance requirements for fiduciaries with discretionary power over distributions. Fiduciaries must determine the tax status of beneficiaries prior to planning distributions to avoid serious tax issues for the trust and the beneficiaries.

Complicating matters further for tax advisers is exploring whether a foreign beneficiary may avail himself of a treaty provision that would alter the income tax treatment of any planned distribution. Depending on the nature of the trust income available for distribution and various treaty provisions, some income may be treated differently when allocated or distributed to a foreign beneficiary than it would to a U.S. person. Withholding requirements on income paid to foreign persons create yet another tax trap for fiduciaries and their advisers.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a thorough and practical guide to distribution planning involving trusts with foreign beneficiaries.



  1. Classification and verification of residency status of beneficiaries
  2. Fiduciary accounting and DNI issues unique to domestic trusts with foreign beneficiaries
  3. Withholding requirements for domestic trust distributions to foreign beneficiaries
  4. Impact of tax treaty provision on domestic trusts with foreign beneficiaries
  5. Tax reporting requirements for domestic trusts and foreign beneficiaries
  6. Critical components of distribution planning and practice tips


The panel will discuss these and other critical questions:

  • What must fiduciaries and their tax advisers know to verify the tax status of foreign or non-U.S. beneficiaries?
  • What are the withholding requirements on distributions--either actual or allocated--to foreign beneficiaries?
  • What are the reporting requirements for both the trust and its foreign beneficiaries on trust distributions?
  • What impact do tax treaties have on calculation of net distributable amounts?
  • What income items must be treated differently for fiduciary accounting income and DNI calculation purposes when a trust has a non-U.S. person as a beneficiary?


Khanjyan, David
David V. Khanjyan

Loeb & Loeb

Mr. Khanjyan advises clients on the domestic and international aspects of income, estate and gift tax planning. He...  |  Read More

Shen, Shu-Ping
Shu-Ping Shen

Senior Counsel
Loeb & Loeb

Mr. Shen focuses his practice on domestic and international trusts and estate planning, with a particular emphasis on...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

CPE credit is not available on downloads.

CPE On-Demand

See NASBA details.