You’re the beneficiary of a family trust. How should you report it?

  1. If you are the beneficiary of a non-U.S. trust and there are no other U.S. grantors/settlors, (trust owners) then the IRS considers you a U.S. owner of the foreign grantor trust. As such, you may be required to report trust ownership annually using Form 3520-A.
  2. If you received distributions from a foreign trust over the course of the past year, then you also have to file Form 3520.
  3. If you are a beneficiary of a foreign trust but the trust has another U.S. year that you receive distributions from the trust. grantor/settlor, then only the grantor/settlor is obligated to file Form 3520-A. However, you must file Form 3520 for each year that you receive distributions from the trust.
  4. If there are multiple U.S. beneficiaries, then only one copy of the form needs to be filed. However, each U.S. beneficiary is responsible for ensuring that Form 3520-A is filed on behalf of the trust. If you are not the person filing Form 3520-A, then you should obtain a copy in order to be sure that the form has been filed.

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