Navigating US Tax Obligations as a US Expat in the UK: Form 3520-A, Filing FBAR, and IRS Tax Return Form

Living abroad as a US expatriate in the UK comes with a unique set of tax obligations and challenges. In this article, we’ll explore ‘Form 3520-A,’ ‘filing FBAR,’ and the ‘IRS tax return form’ to provide insights into the essential requirements for US expats in the UK. To guide you through this intricate process, we introduce Xerxes Associates LLP, a team of US and UK tax advisors specialising in international tax matters.

Understanding Form 3520-A

‘Form 3520-A’ is a crucial component of the US tax obligations for US expatriates living in the UK. This form is designed for reporting foreign trust transactions, which may include ownership of a foreign trust or inheritance from a foreign trust. US expats may need to complete this form if they have financial interests or receive distributions from a foreign trust.

Key points about Form 3520-A:

Reporting Foreign Trust Transactions: US expats must file Form 3520-A to report ownership or distributions from a foreign trust.

Penalties: Failure to file this form or late filing can result in substantial penalties.

Professional Guidance: Seeking assistance from international tax advisors like Xerxes Associates LLP is crucial to ensure accurate and timely filing.

Filing FBAR: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

‘Filing FBAR’ stands for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, and it is a mandatory requirement for US expats in the UK. The FBAR is used to disclose any foreign financial accounts exceeding $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. These accounts may include bank accounts, investments, and even certain types of life insurance policies held abroad.

Key points about filing FBAR:

Reporting Threshold: If the aggregate value of your foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any point during the year, you must file an FBAR.

Deadline: The FBAR filing deadline is April 15th, with an automatic extension available until October 15th.

Penalties: Non-compliance can result in severe penalties, making accurate and timely filing crucial.

Navigating IRS Tax Return Forms

US expats are required to complete ‘IRS tax return forms’ to report their income, including earnings from both US and foreign sources. The primary tax return form for most US taxpayers is Form 1040, but expats may also need to file additional schedules and forms, such as Schedule B, Schedule C, and Form 1116, to claim foreign tax credits.

Key IRS tax return forms for US expats:

Form 1040: The standard individual income tax return used by most US expatriates.

Schedule B: Used to report interest and dividend income from foreign accounts.

Schedule C: If you are self-employed or own a business abroad, you’ll use this form to report your business income and expenses.

Form 1116: This form is used to claim foreign tax credits if you’ve paid foreign taxes on your income.

Xerxes Associates LLP: Your Expert International Tax Advisors

Navigating ‘Form 3520-A,’ ‘filing FBAR,’ and IRS tax return forms can be complex and challenging for US expats in the UK. Xerxes Associates LLP, a team of US and UK tax advisors, specialises in providing comprehensive support and guidance to ensure that you meet your tax obligations efficiently and effectively.

Services offered by Xerxes Associates LLP:

Tax Compliance: The experts at Xerxes Associates LLP can assist you in preparing and filing all the necessary forms to ensure you are compliant with both US and UK tax laws.

Tax Planning: They can help you develop a tax-efficient strategy to minimise your tax liability.

Professional Guidance: Seeking assistance from experienced international tax advisors ensures accuracy and timeliness in your filings.


Understanding ‘Form 3520-A,’ ‘filing FBAR,’ and IRS tax return forms is vital for US expatriates residing in the UK. These obligations can be complex, but with the expertise of Xerxes Associates LLP, you can receive tailored guidance to ensure compliance with both US and UK tax laws while minimising your tax liability. Don’t let the intricacies of international taxation overwhelm you; seek professional assistance and ensure a smooth and stress-free tax filing process.

Contact us via or fill out our contact form to discuss your expat tax situation with us.

Read more here: Xerxes US Expats Living & Working in the UK Blog.