Trustees, your trust needs you!

Angela Boag

Angela Boag

Technical Specialist

14 January 2022

There has been a lot of buzz around the “new” Trust Registration Service (TRS). In case you missed it, the law on this has changed.  

Now trustees of most trusts will have to register with HMRC by 1 September 2022, and new trusts created after this date will have 90 days to register (with some limited exceptions of course).

What exactly is the Trusts Registration Service?

It really is what it says on the tin – an online service established for trustees and personal representatives of complex estates to register, allowing the UK Government to meet its obligations to have an anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime.

It was brought in to comply with the Fourth and Fifth Money Laundering Directives (and yes, there is already a Sixth Money Laundering Directive).

Who does it affect?

It affects both taxable trusts (trusts with a UK tax liability) and express trusts (trusts created by written deed). The level of information required depends on the type of trust – and trustees have had to register a trust if there was tax due, since June 2017.

A lead trustee should be nominated as the main point of contact for HMRC, as part of the registration process, and the information required for registration relates to the trust, settlor (who set up the trust), lead trustee, beneficiaries and trust assets.

Following registration, the Trust Record should be kept up to date through the TRS and adjustment made if there are any changes or distributions to beneficiaries.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that the trust’s record keeping is maintained and up to date.

What do you need to do?

First steps are to identify any trusts that you are involved in and whether those trusts are required to register, or if it falls under one of the exempt trust categories.

Trustees have an obligation to register with the TRS and to keep the information up to date. Therefore, this would be a good time to check your trust paperwork.

Penalties may apply to trustees that fail to register or update the information on time and are unable to show HMRC that they took reasonable steps to do so.

Further information regarding your obligations can be found in our trust registration factsheet.

Don’t get caught out by the new rules, be prepared and have the information available to register the trust by the deadline of 1 September 2022. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with myself or a member of our Wealth team, if you'd like to discuss this further.

Remember, your trust needs you!


Disclaimer: Johnston Carmichael Wealth Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

This communication is based upon our interpretation of current and proposed legislation as at the date of publication. These may change in future.  

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