Form 3520

Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts

What is a 3520 Form?

The IRS Form 3520, officially titled Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, is a crucial document for U.S. persons involved in transactions with foreign trusts or receiving certain types of foreign gifts. This form plays a significant role in the transparent reporting of overseas financial activities to avoid unintended tax evasion. It encompasses various components necessary for detailed disclosure, including:

  • Information about the U.S. person filing the form.
  • Detailed descriptions of transactions with foreign trusts.
  • Information on large gifts or bequests received from foreign entities.

Understanding the 3520 form is essential for taxpayers who engage in international financial transactions, ensuring compliance with U.S. tax regulations.

Who Needs a 3520 Form?

Filing a 3520 form is not a universal requirement for all taxpayers. The criteria for who needs to submit this form include:

  • U.S. persons (citizens, residents, partnerships, corporations, estates, or trusts) that directly or indirectly engaged in transactions with a foreign trust during the tax year.
  • Recipients of more than $100,000 from a non-resident alien individual or a foreign estate in the form of gifts or bequests.
  • Recipients of more than $16,649 (for 2022, subject to annual adjustments) from foreign corporations or foreign partnerships as gifts.

Meeting these obligations before the deadlines, mainly April 15 or October 15 if an extension is requested, helps avoid potential penalties.

How to Read and Understand 3520 Form

Deciphering the 3520 form requires a focused approach, understanding its segmented nature, which covers:

  • Part I: General information about the filer.
  • Part II: Detailed reporting on transactions with foreign trusts.
  • Part III: Information about the creation of a foreign trust by the filer or transfer of assets to a foreign trust.
  • Part IV: Reporting of certain large foreign gifts or bequests received.

Familiarity with common terms, such as "foreign trust," "U.S. person," "transferor," and "gift," is essential for accurate reporting.

How to Get Your 3520 Form

To access and file a 3520 form, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official IRS website for the most up-to-date forms.
  2. Download the form directly from IRS Page for Form 3520.

This ensures you are working with the correct form version for the tax year in question.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Errors made while filling out the 3520 form can result in penalties. Common mistakes include:

  • Incorrectly reporting the value of transactions or gifts.
  • Failing to submit the form before the deadline.
  • Incomplete or inaccurate information provided.

Adhering to detailed instructions and consulting with a tax professional can mitigate these issues.

3520 Form and Tax Filing

The 3520 form impacts tax filing concerning:

  • Disclosure of foreign financial interactions.
  • Determination of taxable gifts and bequests.
  • Possible effects on tax returns and potential refunds based on accurate and timely reporting.

FAQ Section

Q1: What if I miss the filing deadline for the 3520 form?

A1: Late filing may result in penalties. Immediately consulting with a tax advisor and filing the form as soon as possible is advisable.

Q2: Do I need to file a 3520 form for gifts from foreign corporations under $16,649?

A2: No, for 2022, gifts under $16,649 from foreign corporations or partnerships do not need to be reported.

Q3: Can I e-file Form 3520?

A3: As of now, Form 3520 must be mailed to the IRS. Check the IRS website for updates on e-filing options.

Q4: Are there exceptions to filing Form 3520?

A4: Specific exceptions apply, such as for distributions received from certain foreign trusts. Detailed guidance is available on the IRS website.

Q5: How do I correct an error on a filed Form 3520?

A5: Amend a previously filed Form 3520 by submitting a corrected version to the IRS with an explanation of the changes.


Navigating the intricacies of the IRS Form 3520 is crucial for taxpayers involved in transactions with foreign trusts or receiving significant foreign gifts. This guide aims to demystify the filing process, highlighting key components, common mistakes, and crucial deadlines. Remember, when facing complex scenarios or uncertainties, the assistance of a tax professional is invaluable.

For more in-depth guidance and the latest updates, refer to the following resources:

Complying with Form 3520 requirements safeguards against potential penalties and ensures transparency in reporting international financial transactions.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.