Form 3520-A Foreign Trust Penalty
Foreign Trust Penalty Form 3520-A: The IRS has significantly increased enforcement of IRS offshore penalties. While the FBAR & FATCA are two of the more common foreign penalties you made have heard about, the number of people being penalized under Form 3520-A has increased exponentially.
That is because the IRS has taken to issuing automatic penalties against taxpayers we do not timely and accurately report their foreign trusts.
The form 5471 is another type of international information return that is receiving extensive penalty enforcement by the IRS.
We will summarize the Foreign Trust Penalty Form 3520-A.
IRS Form 3520-A Penalty
As Provided by the IRS:
The U.S. owner is subject to an initial penalty equal to the greater of $10,000 or 5% of the gross value of the portion of the trust’s assets treated as owned by the U.S. person at the close of that tax year if the foreign trust
“(a) fails to file a timely Form 3520-A, or
(b) does not furnish all of the information required by section 6048(b) or includes incorrect information. See section 6677(a) through (c).
If a foreign trust fails to file a Form 3520-A, the U.S. owner must complete and attach a substitute Form 3520-A to the U.S. owner’s Form 3520 by the due date of the U.S. owner’s Form 3520 (and not the due date for Form 3520-A) in order to avoid being subject to a penalty for the foreign trust’s failure to file a Form 3520-A.
For example, a substitute Form 3520-A that, to the best of the U.S. owner’s ability, is completed and attached to the U.S. owner’s Form 3520 by the due date for the Form 3520 (such as April 15 for the U.S. owners who are individuals) is considered timely filed.
The U.S. owner is subject to an additional separate penalty equal to the greater of $10,000 or 5% of the gross value of the portion of the trust’s assets treated as owned by the U.S. person at the close of that tax year if the U.S. owner (a) fails to file a timely Form 3520 (Part II), or (b) fails to furnish all of the information required by section 6048(b) or includes incorrect information. See section 6677(a) through (c) and the Instructions for Form 3520.
Additional penalties will be imposed if the noncompliance continues for more than 90 days after the IRS mails a notice of failure to comply with the required reporting. If the IRS can determine the gross value (defined later) of the portion of the trust’s assets treated as owned by the U.S. person at the close of the tax year, then the additional penalties will be reduced as necessary to assure that the aggregate amount of such penalties does not exceed the gross value of the trust. For more information, see section 6677.
Criminal penalties may be imposed under sections 7203, 7206, and 7207 for failure to file on time and for filing a false or fraudulent return. Note. If a U.S. owner of a foreign trust is subject to a penalty imposed under section 6662 for an underpayment of tax required to be shown on a return, then such penalty may be increased under section 6662(j) for any portion of an underpayment which is attributable to any transaction involving any asset with respect to which information was required to be provided on Form 3520-A. For more information about undisclosed foreign financial asset understatements, see section 6662(j).”
As further provided by the IRS:
“No penalties will be imposed if the taxpayer can demonstrate that the failure to comply with the reporting requirements was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.
Note. The fact that a foreign country would impose penalties for disclosing the required information is not reasonable cause. Similarly, reluctance on the part of a foreign fiduciary or provisions in the trust instrument that prevent the disclosure of required information is not reasonable cause. See section 6677(d) for more information.”
Foreign Gift, Trust, and Inheritance Tax Specialist Team
Our firm specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure, including help clients with late reporting of Forms 3520 and 3520-A.
Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.