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New Trust Registration Rules

The new Trust Registration rules – what you need to know

The Trust Registration Service (TRS) is a government register of the beneficial ownership of trusts. If you are a trustee, you may have to register the trust online with HMRC’s Trust Registration Service (TRS), or update your details, unless your trust is specifically excluded. You may have to do this regardless of whether the trust has a UK tax liability.

You can find out which trusts must be registered and those that are exempt here:

Trust Registration Service Manual – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Examples of trusts relevant to investment business that must be registered include:

  • All UK express trusts – unless specifically excluded, for example:
  • Trust plans used with clients for estate and IHT planning such as gift trusts, loan trusts and discounted gift trusts.
  • Bare trusts set up by parents or grandparents for the benefit of a child under the age of 16.
  • Unit linked life policies held for investment purposes.
  • Will trusts are excluded from registration for the first two years from the date of death. If the trust assets have not been fully distributed out of the trust by this time, the trustees must register the trust.
  • Any trust if they have a tax liability, as these trusts need to be registered on the TRS for self-assessment purposes.

Examples of trusts relevant to investment business which do not need to be registered include:

  • Protection policies (term or whole of life) held in trust where the policy only pays out on death.
  • Trusts set up to meet the cost of healthcare.
  • Pension schemes set up under trust provided the trustees keep the scheme details up to date via gov.co.uk.
  • Charitable trusts which are registered as charities in the UK, or which are not required to register as charities.
  • Some financial products or arrangements with ‘trust’ in their title, such as the Child Trust Fund, or Venture Capital Trusts or Investment Trusts are not trusts in this sense and do not need to be registered.

If you are unsure as to whether your trust needs to be registered or you want help registering your trust, you should seek legal advice from a tax professional. BRI is unable to provide advice on this matter, but over the next few months we will be contacting trusts which we think may be in scope of the new requirements.

Deadline for registering non-taxable trusts

The deadline for registrations for non-taxable trusts is 1 September 2022. New trusts created after 1 September 2022 must register within 90 days of being created.

Different rules apply to taxable trusts; please refer to the link above for more information.

How to register a trust

The lead trustee will need to complete the registration process (this person will be the main point of contact for HMRC) or alternatively you can appoint an agent to register the trust on your behalf.  It is only possible to register an agent if the business operates as an accountancy service provider. If you have an agent, then we suggest that you discuss your obligation with them.

Go to the section ‘Manage your trust’s details’ on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-your-trusts-registration-service

Penalties for failure to register

It is the responsibility of the trustee to register the trust or update the register where required.  Penalties of between £100 and £300 may apply if you fail to do so.

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