What is the Trust Registration Service?

The Trust Registration Service (TRS) was first introduced in 2017 as part of the anti-money laundering regulations by HMRC. All trusts with a UK tax liability were required to register with the TRS. This has now been extended with the TRS now applying to non-taxable trusts.

The trustees must use the online trust registration service to do one of the following:

  • register the trust with HM Revenue and Customs for Self-assessment
  • update the details that are held about the trust
  • declare the details held about the trust are up to date (annual basis for taxable trusts)
  • get proof of registration
  • close a trust

When does a trust need to register?

The deadline and timescales for the registration of existing or new trusts are:

  • Non-taxable trusts in existence on or before 6 October 2020 must be registered by 1 September 2022
  • Non-taxable trusts created after 6 October 2020 must be registered within 90 days of becoming liable to tax, or by 1 September 2022 (whenever is later)
  • Taxable trusts that are created after 6 April 2021 must be registered within 90 days of becoming liable to tax, or by 1 September 2022 (whenever is later)
  • Taxable trusts that were created before 6 April 2021, the registration deadline is on or before 31 January after the tax year in which the trust becomes liable to tax (or by 5 October after the end of the tax year for a first-time liability to Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax). It is expected that all such trusts should already have registered by 31 January 2022, or would have previously been a non-taxable trust so will now be required to register by 1 September 2022.

Who can register a trust?

It is the responsibility of the trustees to ensure that the TRS is kept up to date. A lead trustee should be appointed as the main point of contact.

A professional advisor can complete and maintain the TRS on behalf of the trustees or the lead trustee can complete using the HMRC online portal.

Is there an ongoing requirement after registration?

Yes, for taxable trusts. The TRS record must be kept up to date. The information on TRS must be updated within 90 days of the date that the trustees become aware of changes to the trust details or beneficial ownership. You must declare the trust is up to date on an annual basis by 31 January, the same deadline as the tax return.

Will there be a penalty for failure to register or update the TRS?

HMRC will impose penalties where there is a failure to meet these deadlines. HMRC will initially be taking a light touch approach to penalties. the penalty regime is expected to be similar to that for failing to meet self-assessment deadlines, i.e. starting at £100 and increasing the longer the failure continues

Interested to find out more?

Please find further details on the HMRC webpage.

If you’d like more information on the TRS and how it will impact you, please contact a member in our tax team to find out more or give us a call on 01903 234094.

A version of this blog originally appeared on the website of PrimeGlobal member firmHenderson Loggie.