August 30, 2021 Matthew Smith



Customers are reminded that 15 September is the IRS filing deadline for form 3520-A for the 2020 tax year, where an extension for filing has been granted. This is traditionally a very busy time of year for Southpac given the large number of trusts whose settlors are required to file this form. We urge our customers not to leave it to the last minute to send the 3520-A (and any associated forms) to us for review, particularly as we find that changes to submitted forms are often required before the trustee can execute and return them.


In order to allow sufficient time for processing ahead of the 15 September deadline, we ask all customers to please ensure that 3520-As, and any associated forms requiring trustee signatures, are sent to their regular Southpac point of contact by no later than 8 September 2021.


Form 3520-A is usually required to be filed with the IRS each year by US owners of foreign trusts. In most cases, this is the trust’s settlor/grantor. The form reports trust income and distributions for the tax year and must be signed by the trustee. Sometimes other forms need to be filed with the IRS in conjunction with the 3520-A.


IRS penalties for failure to timely file a 3520-A can be severe. If you are unsure whether you are required to file this form, please consult your attorney or CPA urgently for clarification.

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith joined Southpac’s New Zealand office in March 2017 and is currently employed as Southpac’s General Counsel. He has a particular interest in Cook Islands and Nevis legislation and keeps a close eye on developments in those jurisdictions. Matthew is a dual-qualified lawyer/attorney, having been admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales in 2008 and as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2017. Prior to joining Southpac, he worked as a court lawyer at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, UK, where he advised judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal on case law, practice and procedure in appeals and judicial reviews across a variety of practice areas.
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