Changes to the Trust Registration Service

Recent changes to the UK Trust Registration Service (TRS) have significantly expanded the number of trusts which need to be registered, including both UK and overseas resident trusts.

The Government set up the TRS in 2016 to meet its obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime. Until recently this only required trusts with a UK tax liability (Taxable Trusts) to register however from 1 September 2022 most UK trusts and some offshore trusts which have links to the UK will have to be registered, irrespective of their tax position.

Some non-taxable trusts may be exempt from registering where certain criteria are met. Each exemption has specific criteria which must be met for the exemption to apply, however we have noted the broad exemption categories below:

  • Registered charities
  • Will trusts and ongoing estates (for 2 years following date of death)
  • Trusts which only hold life insurance policies
  • Property co-ownership trusts, where the beneficiaries are all recorded as owners on the land registry
  • Registered pension schemes
  • Trusts for disabled beneficiaries
  • Trust imposed under court order
  • Bank accounts held for minors (although this exemption does not extend to other assets/investments)
  • Some employee share scheme trusts

The deadline for registration of existing trusts is 1 September 2022, or 90 days after the creation of the trust, if this is later. Failure to register by the deadline could lead to penalties being charged by HMRC.

Where registration is required, the lead trustee can use HMRC’s online services, to create an account for the trust and to submit the information to HMRC. A link to this service can be found here.

Please note: If you would like our assistance with registering a trust, then our fees for doing so start from £400 plus VAT.

Please also note that there is an ongoing requirement for trustees to keep the information held on the TRS up to date. Where a change needs to be reported, an update should be submitted within 90 days of the trustees becoming aware of the change.

Taxable trusts must also submit an update annually by no later than 31 January after the end of the relevant tax year confirming there have been no changes to the trust or its beneficiaries.

How can we help?

Should you have any queries about the TRS, please contact Tax Manager Mark Woods.

Please note: This note is intended for general information only and is not intended to be advice to any specific person or trust.

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