23 March 2022

Trust Registration Service – What are the changes and what effect will they have on me as a trustee?

Trust Registration Service

As part of the UK’s implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive, new rules were introduced on 6 October 2020 to extend the scope of the trust register. Prior to this, if a trust was liable to pay certain taxes, trustees or their agents had to register the trust using the Trust Registration Service.

The new rules, however, state that all UK and some non-UK trusts that are currently open must be registered whether or not the trust has to pay any tax. There are certain exceptions to this. 

Further, under the new rules, HMRC will be allowed to give information on the register to organisations and persons involved in preventative work in the field of anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and associated offences.

What effect do these changes have on me?

As a trustee, you have a duty to register a trust so that you, and the trust, are compliant with Anti-Money Laundering regulations. There are deadlines in place for the registration of trusts under the new rules.

Non-taxable trusts

Non-taxable trusts in existence on or after 6 October 2020 must be registered by 1 September 2022.

Non-taxable trusts created after 1 September 2022 must register within 90 days of creation.

Deadlines for taxable trusts (Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax)

Trusts liable for Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax for the first time must be registered by 5 October in the tax year after the one in which the trust starts to receive any income or has capital gains and therefore becomes liable.

Trusts that have been liable for Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax before must be registered by 31 January in the tax year after the one in which the trust receives any income or has capital gains and is liable for tax.

Deadlines for other taxable trusts

Trusts liable for other taxes must be registered by 31 January in the tax year after the one in which your trust has any other tax liability.

How do I register a trust?

You can carry out the registration process yourself using the Trust Registration Service, or you can ask a professional to do this on your behalf.

To register the trust you will need to obtain an Organisation Government Gateway ID and password. You will then need to complete various information about the trust, settlor(s) of the trust, trustees, beneficiaries and assets of the trust.

If you are a trustee and would like any advice or assistance in relation to registering a trust, please contact one of our Wills & Probate Team Lawyers and we would be pleased to assist you.

our lawyers deliver an excellent quality service, independently recognised by The Law Society and our many returning clients.

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