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I am a U.S. resident and citizen. My British mother died earlier this year. In her will, she directly bequeathed me 10,000 pounds, and left the remainder to her sister. Said sister thought that was B.S. and decided to give the remainder to me instead. The total will work out to somewhere around $200,000 USD.

My understanding is that the bequest part (GBP10,000, about $17,000) is not taxable, but I'm not sure about the remainder, which I suppose would be considered a gift from my aunt rather than inheritance.

Also, I know I need to file a form 3520, but it looks a bit intimidating. Is this something a regular high street tax preparer (e.g. HR Block) would be able to handle, or should I seek a specialist of some sort? What kind? Tax attorney? Accountant?


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You definitely want a tax accountant or attorney. HR Block is fine, but for big money like that I wouldn't trust the accounting to someone working a seasonal job. Especially when international issues are involved. – JohnFx Jul 26 '14 at 23:49
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Nothing is taxable. Neither the bequest nor the gift are taxable to you. However, form 3520 may be required. You're right to be intimidated - it is a complicated form with huge penalties for failure to comply. I suggest you have a professional EA/CPA licensed in your State and familiar with the UK-US tax treaty help you.

No, not HR Block.

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Thanks a lot. Great answer! – Res Cogitans Jul 27 '14 at 3:03

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