What you need to know about The New Trust Registration Service (TRS) by Head of Wills & Probate, Elizabeth E Webb

The New Trust Registration Service

In 2017, The Money and Laundering Regulations 2020 ((MLR 2020), SI 2020/991 (5MLD)) extended the trust register to all UK and some non-UK trusts that are currently open, whether or not the trust has to pay any tax.

Some exclusions apply, but trusts that will now need to be required are:

  • All UK express trusts where trustees have incurred a tax liability in a given tax year; and
  • All non-UK express trusts which receive UK source income, or have UK assets on which the trustees have incurred a UK tax liability in a given tax year.

This could include many common types of trusts such as discretionary trusts, testamentary trusts and bare trusts.

The deadline for registrations for non-taxable trusts in existence on 6th October 2020 is 1st September 2022.

Trusts that need to register must do so within 90 days of from 1st September 2022. Non-taxable trusts created after 6th October 2020 must register within 90 days of being created or otherwise becoming registerable by 1st September 2022 (whichever is later).

All changes must be reported to HMRC within 90 days of them occurring. This applies to both taxable and non-taxable trusts. If the trust is taxable, you must declare the trust is up-to-date on an annual basis by 31st January.

There are two distinct obligations that the MLR 2017, SI 2017/692 imposes on trustees, and these are keeping written records and providing beneficial ownership information.

All trustees are equally legally responsible for the trust, but you must nominate one ‘lead’ trustee to be the main point of contact for HMRC. The lead trustee will receive the trust’s UTR (unique tax reference) and if registering a taxable trust and a URN (unique reference number) if registering a non-taxable trust. This information must be kept up-to-date.

The key changes:

  • Trustees of taxable relevant trusts are required to supply additional information in relation to their beneficial owners and entities in which they have a controlling interest;
  • Trustees of non-taxable trusts are required to supply information in relation to their beneficial owners and entities which they have a controlling interest.

You must register if the trust becomes or is liable for any of the following taxes:

  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
  • Income Tax
  • Inheritance Tax (IHT)
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
  • Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT)
  • Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (In Scotland)
  • Land Transaction Tax (In Wales)

If your trust does not need to register for any reason other than having a liability to UK tax. You do not need to register it if:

  • It has to pay income tax of less than £100 on interest;
  • Only the settlor of beneficiary of the trust has to pay tax;
  • It’s a bare trust;
  • It holds a pension scheme already registered with HMRC

Before you can register a trust as a trustee, you need to have an Organisational Government Gateway user ID and password. This will be a separate account from their own personal Government Gateway account. If you do not have one, you can create one for the first time you register. You need a Government Gateway User ID for each trust you want to register.

You’ll need

  • An email address (this will be linked to the trust’s Government Gateway Account)
  • Your full name

If you are registering a trust that is liable to tax, they will send the lead trustee a UTR, usually within 15 working days. You will need the UTR to start filing Self-Assessment tax returns. If the trust is not liable to pay tax, you can get your URN by logging back into the service and following the submission of the registration.

If you think this affects any of your circumstances, and you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our Wills & Probate team.

Elizabeth E Webb

Written by

Elizabeth E Webb

Head of Wills & Probate

Elizabeth is a Solicitor and Head of the Wills & Probate department. She was admitted to the roll of solicitors in 2004 and specialises in wills, trusts and estate planning and administration.  Born in the USA, Elizabeth began her working life with a military career in the United States Air Force and retired at...

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