Changes to the Trust Registration Service which may require action by Trustees

Nicola Sargeant

Nicola Sargeant

Tax Manager

HM Revenue & Customs launched the Trust Registration Service (TRS) back in 2017 in order to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) Regulations known as the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“MLD”).  This saw a centralised register of Trusts being created and an annual obligation on Trustees going forward to keep that register up to date with pertinent information in respect of the Trust.

Since then the MLD requirements have changed and and the introduction of the fifth Money Laundering Directive or “5MLD” means further action may be required imminently and prior to 1 September 2022. We would urge all trustees to consider these new requirements. 

Action Required by 1 September 2022 

Trust previously required to register via the TRS

For those trusts already registered with HMRC, the Trust Register must be reviewed and checked each year to ensure that it is still complete and accurate.  Where a self assessment tax return is issued, trustees are required to confirm that this has been done when signing their annual self assessment tax return, or by 31 January following the end of the tax year. 

If the Trust has been registered with HMRC, it will need to be updated if there are changes to the information held on the Trust Register. As confirmed by HMRC to professional accounting and tax bodies, the Trust Register should be updated within 90 days of the Trustee becoming aware of the change to be updated. Such changes could include, for example, a change to the information held on the Trust Register for any of the settlors of the Trust, beneficiaries and/or Trustees in respect of changes to address, country of residence, telephone numbers and who is principal trustee. Please refer to HMRC guidance for full details of the information which is required to be updated on an ongoing basis.

Please also note that even where there are no changes to the information currently held, there may still be a requirement to provide additional information (if not already provided) following 5MLD rules coming into force which now require:  

  • Details of the country of residence, nationality, and nature and extent of the individual’s beneficial interest covering settlor, trustees, and beneficiaries (unless the Trust deed only identifies a class of beneficiary such as children, grandchildren etc).  
  • Details of any controlling holdings of non-EEA (European Economic Area) entities. 

As HMRC’s Trust Register should be updated where this is applicable by 1 September 2022, we advise that the trustees check the register in advance of this date (using the link above) so that, if needed, the register may be updated by the deadline.   

Penalties may apply where changes are notified to HMRC late. 

Trust not previously required to register via the TRS

There is now a requirement for all Express Trusts (i.e. a Trust created with express terms and usually in writing), including previously non-taxable Trusts, to register with HMRC through the TRS by 1 September 2022.  This is a fundamental change for Trustees as previously HMRC only required a Trust to be registered with them if the Trust had a UK tax liability.  Trustees of any non-taxable Trusts not otherwise exempt from the registration requirement, should be aware of this new requirement placed on them and ensure the Trust is registered via the TRS before the 1 September 2022 deadline as penalties may apply where registration is not made by this date. 

There are some exceptions which can apply and guidance on the various types of Trusts and  their requirements to register can be found here.  

Get in touch

If you are unsure if your Trust is “non-taxable”, whether it may qualify for an exemption from registration, or need assistance with making a registration, please get in touch with me at, or your usual Johnston Carmichael contact. 

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