Finally- All the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Foreign Trusts in One Place!

FAQ, International, Taxes, U.S.

Jack Brister

Founder, International Wealth Tax Advisors

Jack Brister, Founder of International Wealth Tax Advisors, is a noted international tax expert, with over 25 years of experience. Jack specializes in U.S. tax planning and compliance for non-U.S. families with international wealth and asset protection structures. Jack is a frequent featured speaker at numerous international financial conferences and has been named a Citywealth Top 100 U.S. Wealth Advisor.

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Finally- All the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Foreign Trusts in One Place!

     BONUS: A Handy Yes/No Calculation Quiz to Determine:

  1. If Your Trust is a Foreign Trust
  2. Type of Trust


You asked, we answered. Click here to be a Foreign Trust know-it-all.

Foreign Trust tax reporting, tax management and filing of the infamous Form 3520 is all in a day’s work for a qualified international tax advisory and accountancy. For clients and financial professionals not-so-familiar with the international tax world, it is far from routine. Foreign Trusts are one of the most asked-about and misunderstood financial instruments. Questions abound in determining category, following legal compliance and fulfilling tax responsibilities.

We sympathize.

So, instead of paying for a lengthy and costly consultation by a legal or cross-border tax professional just to learn the basics, or scouring the Internet for bits and pieces of information, we thought we’d cut you some slack and give you the whole enchilada. Well, at least a healthy-sized serving.

We looked through our client history, researched search engine queries and combed online forums to come up with the top ten frequently asked questions on foreign trusts.

They are….(drumroll, please):

  1. Who should file IRS Form 3520?
  2. What is a foreign trust?
  3. Are trust distributions taxable to the beneficiary?
  4. Do trust beneficiaries of a foreign trust pay taxes?
  5. What is a foreign grantor trust owner statement?
  6. Is a gift from a foreign person taxable?
  7. How to create an international trust?
  8. Is a TFSA considered a foreign Trust?
  9. What is the Schedule B compliance requirement for foreign accounts and trusts?
  10. What is the U.S. taxation of foreign trusts?

And as an added courtesy, our office math whizzes came up with a simple-to-use tool in the form of a very short yes/no quiz to determine, in less than a minute, if the instrument you are dealing with is a Foreign Trust or U.S. Trust, and the specific type. The type of trust will determine the nature of your/your beneficiaries’ tax filing requirements. How’s that for one-stop Q & A shopping?

Click here to read the answers to the IWTA Foreign Trust Top Ten FAQs and try our 30-second determination tool.

If you or your clients need help with the next steps of Foreign Trust reporting, management and tax filing, contact us and we’ll be glad to be of service.

We’d love to hear your feedback and comments! Email us at or