Offshore trusts have very stringent reporting requirements.  Some of the major filing requirements are the following:

  • IRS Form 1040 NR — while a domestic trust files an IRS Form 1041, a foreign trust must file a Form 1040 NR.
  • IRS Forms 3520 and 3520-A. 
  • TD F 90-22.1 (FBAR) if their are foreign accounts.  This is required for any foreign account over which you have any direct or indirect interest or signature authority.

You are obviously not going to handle foreign trust reporting requirements on your own.  The point here is that it is critical to have an accountant who is familiar with all these requirements.  There are severe penalties for non-compliance.

As I have mentioned in other posts, a foreign asset protection trust may be perfectly appropriate under many circumstances.  It is important to keep in mind, however, that there are very stringent annual maintenance requirements for these trusts — particularly the required tax filings.  If you set up a foreign asset protection trust but subsequently fail to meet reporting requirements, the effects can be disastrous.  Again, the key is to have the proper professional advice to make sure all major reporting rules are complied with.