New Jersey International Trust Attorney

International Trust Attorney for Estate Planning, Tax Planning and IRS Defense in New Jersey

International trusts can be effective tools for both estate planning and tax planning purposes. However, in recent years the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has identified a rise in abusive tax schemes involving international trusts, and, as a result, the IRS is now paying close attention to taxpayers who report (or fail to report) these trusts on their annual returns.

There is nothing inherently wrong with using an international trust for estate planning or tax planning purposes. International trusts offer a variety of benefits when used lawfully. But, U.S. taxpayers that create international trusts need to understand that their trusts may garner the IRS’s attention, and they must be prepared to prove that their trusts comply with the Internal Revenue Code when necessary.

Experienced Tax Counsel for International Trust Formation, Compliance and Defense

New Jersey international trust attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, has two decades of experience advising clients on estate planning, tax planning, and IRS-related matters. This includes extensive experience in the areas of international trust formation, management, administration, compliance and defense. Whether you are interested in forming an international trust to protect your hard-earned assets, you need assistance with international trust administration or reporting compliance, or you are facing scrutiny from the IRS, Mr. Thorn can help you make the right decisions and avoid unnecessary penalties.

International Trust Formation and Strategic Planning

Mr. Thorn routinely assists clients with all aspects of international trust formation and strategic planning. If you are interested in an international trust for estate planning, asset protection, or tax mitigation purposes, Mr. Thorn can help you evaluate your options and choose the structure and jurisdiction that make the most sense for your individual needs. In a typical scenario, this involves considerations such as:

  • Determining the residency of the estate assets
  • Considering the alternative benefits of revocable and irrevocable trusts for estate and tax planning purposes
  • Considering whether a family partnership, foundation, offshore account, or other structure or holding would be more suited to your specific needs and concerns
  • Analyzing your existing estate planning documents and overall estate planning goals
  • Assessing your income sources, overall portfolio, family circumstances and other pertinent considerations

Based on these considerations, among others, Mr. Thorn can help you choose an international trust structure (or other appropriate structure or entity) that is custom-tailored to your specific goals and needs. Mr. Thorn can then draft the necessary paperwork and handle the formation process on your behalf, and he can explain everything you need to know in order to reap the benefits of your international trust (or other structure or entity) while staying in compliance with federal law.

International Trust Management, Administration and Compliance

There are several aspects of international trust management, administration and compliance that require experienced legal counsel. These include annual reporting requirements with the IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

As the IRS explains, “there are a number of information reporting rules that can apply to a U.S. person who enters into transactions with a foreign trust or is treated as an owner of a foreign trust under the grantor trust rules, or receives distributions from a foreign trust.” When U.S. taxpayers fail to comply with the applicable reporting requirements under the Internal Revenue Code and Bank Secrecy Act, they can face steep penalties—and they can even face criminal prosecution in some cases.

To help his clients avoid civil and criminal penalties, New Jersey international trust attorney Kevin E. Thorn counsels his clients on all pertinent reporting requirements and provides assistance with international trust compliance as desired. This includes working with grantors (individuals who establish international trusts), trustees and beneficiaries regarding:

  • Adequately documenting all international trust transactions to facilitate reporting compliance
  • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) compliance via IRS Form 8938
  • Bank Secrecy Act compliance via the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)
  • Utilization of the IRS’ Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures to address delinquent filings
  • Utilization of the IRS’ Voluntary Disclosure Practice to remedy willful failures to file

Given the risks of non-compliance and the IRS’ current focus on targeting abusive tax schemes that incorporate international trusts, ensuring compliance is paramount. Mr. Thorn has extensive experience helping clients avoid unwanted scrutiny from the IRS and other federal authorities—from helping grantors manage their international trusts appropriately to helping trustees and beneficiaries determine whether they need to file an FBAR or IRS Form 8938.

Defending Against IRS Audits and Investigations Targeting International Trusts

In addition to helping clients avoid unwanted scrutiny, Mr. Thorn also defends clients targeted in IRS audits and investigations. This includes audits and investigations targeting the alleged “abusive” use of international trusts as well as inquiries focused on imposing penalties based on failure to file annual reports.

If you are facing scrutiny from the IRS or the agency’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS CI), it is imperative that you engage defense counsel promptly. Facing an IRS audit is not the time to take chances, and IRS CI investigations are extremely serious matters that present risks for federal tax fraud charges, criminal prosecution, and criminal fines and imprisonment.

With his experience successfully resolving high-stakes tax controversies, Mr. Thorn can deal with the IRS or IRS CI on your behalf. He can help you make the right decisions while avoiding costly mistakes, and he can work to steer the audit or investigation toward a favorable outcome. Misuse of international trusts and failure to maintain FATCA and FBAR compliance can lead to serious civil or criminal penalties, and engaging experienced defense counsel is the first step toward avoiding unnecessary consequences.

Contact New Jersey International Trust Attorney Kevin E. Thorn

If you have questions or concerns about international trust compliance, or if you are facing scrutiny from the IRS or IRS CI, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. To schedule an appointment with New Jersey international trust attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, please call 201-355-8202, email or contact us confidentially online today.

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