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The UK Trust Registration Service (‘TRS’) is a register of the beneficial ownership of trusts.
The service, first introduced in 2017, is aimed at tackling money laundering, serious crime and terrorist financing. The 2017 TRS only required trusts to be registered where there was a UK Tax liability.
However, new rules came into force in October 2020 (at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic) which now require all UK trusts (apart from a few exceptions) and some non-UK trusts in existence on or after 6 October 2020 to register with HM Revenue and Customs by 1 September 2022. If the deadline is not met, then HMRC may charge penalties to the trustees.
In addition, if a trust is or should become liable for Capital Gains tax, Income tax, Inheritance tax, Stamp Duty Land tax or Stamp Duty Reserve Tax then it must be registered within 90 days of its creation or by the 1st of September (whichever is later).
If a trust has a tax liability which is covered by a relief, then the trust will still need to be registered before the relief can be claimed via the self-assessment service.
Trusts excluded from the requirement to register, include: –
Trustees must enter details about: –
It is the legal responsibility of the trustees to register the Trust. A lead trustee must be appointed, alternatively, trustees can appoint an agent to register the Trust.
Trustees are required to keep up to date written records of beneficial owner(s), settlors, trustees, and beneficiaries, if not, HMRC may impose penalties and fines for non-compliance with the registration requirements.
First and foremost, it is the trustee’s legal obligation to register the trust. If you do not register your trust or keep the details on the register up to date, HM Revenue and Customs can enforce penalties.
Also, you will be required to demonstrate to any third party that the trust has registered and is up to date on the TRS before they will be able to act for you. This can be obtained in the form of a certificate from the TRS portal.
When do I need to register the Trust?
If your trust is liable for more than one tax and both deadlines could apply, you must register it before the earlier of the 2 deadlines.
The lead trustee or their appointed agent can register the trust via this link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-a-trust-as-a-trustee . If you are unsure on how to do this, please contact your Solicitor or an Accountant who will assist you on the registration process.
If you have any concerns about whether this may affect you, please contact a member of our Private Client Team on either 01245 493 959 (Chelmsford office) or 01702 298 282 (Shoeburyness office).
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