Updates will shortly be made to the online Trust Registration Service (TRS) in preparation for opening it to non-taxable trusts for registration later this year. Whereas trustees were only obliged to register in certain circumstances before, the new system will shortly catch the vast majority of trusts with the requirement to go through this exercise.
What is the Trust Registration Service?
The Trust Registration Service (“TRS”) was first introduced in 2017 as part of HMRC's wider digital strategy, however, only trusts with UK tax liabilities needed to be registered via this service.
What are the new changes to the TRS?
The scope of the TRS has been extended significantly, with the following types of trusts now being required to register, even if they do not have a UK tax liability:
- existing UK express trusts;
- non-UK express trusts, where one or more of the trustees is a UK resident and hold an interest in UK land or enter into a business relationship with a relevant person in the UK;
- non-UK express trusts, where none of the trustees are UK resident but the trust acquires an interest in UK land.
Further data will also be required in certain circumstances.
What are the TRS deadlines?
The deadline to register a trust has been extended by the government. HMRC has recently issued a statement stating that it intends to defer the deadline to twelve months after the new system is made available, expected to be in Summer 2022, with April 2022 being the earliest possible deadline.
Any new UK express trusts established after 10 March needs to be registered within 30 days of creation. However, trusts created by Will are not required to register in the TRS until two years after the date of death if the Will trust is to be retained.
Any updates to the information held on the TRS are also required to be made within 30 days of the following:
- a change, or death, of trustee;
- a distribution to a “new” beneficiary not on the TRS;
- the death of a beneficiary named on the TRS;
- the winding up of the trust.
What does this mean for me?
As can be seen, the obligation to register trusts has been extended to many trustees who would never before have been caught.
Anyone who is or is contemplating becoming a trustee should therefore take steps to keep themselves updated about the position. Please contact our specialist teams if you need any help or advice.
How can Tozers help?
For any further help or advice on anything covered in this insight, please contact our dedicated Wills and Probate team who will be happy to help.