HMRC’s Trust Registration Service – Doesn’t affect you? Think Again

We’ve all been glued to the news over the last year and there has been a lot to take in; Covid, vaccines, driver shortages and rising fuel prices have filled the headlines.

What you may have missed in the small print of the newspapers is that, from 1 September 2021, registration is now compulsory for many trusts that were previously not required to be registered on HMRC’s online Trust Registration Service (TRS).

Taxable trusts have been required to be registered for a number of years but this has now been extended to cover trusts where no tax is payable.
That doesn’t affect any of us though does it.   Or does it?

The requirement to register covers a wider range of circumstances than one might expect and is not limited to ‘traditional’ trusts.
Consider these scenarios:

  • Do you own your home with someone other than the person you live with?
  • Do you own a property where there are more than four legal owners?
  • Have you acted as executor for anyone where there was a trust in their Will?
  • Have you acted as executor where children under the age of 18 were beneficiaries?
  • Are you looking after funds for anyone else?
  • Have you placed a life policy or other investment into trust that will pay out before the insured person dies?
  • Have you put an asset protection or family trust in place?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, or if you know that you are appointed as a trustee under a trust deed or Will, you may need to register with the TRS.
For non-taxable trusts, a one-off registration is all that is required (unless there are changes to the trustees or beneficiaries’ details). Failure to register may result in fixed penalty fines from HMRC. HMRC have indicated that they will send out reminder letters to trustees when they become aware of a failure to register. If you should receive such a letter it is important to seek advice, and put the registration in place if applicable, so as to avoid a penalty.

Deadlines for Registration:

  • non-taxable trusts in existence on or after 6 October 2020 by 1 September 2022;
  • non-taxable trusts created after 1 September 2022 within 90 days;
  • (there is an exception for Will trusts where the deadline is extended to two years post death);
  • changes to the trust details and/or circumstances, within 90 days of the change.

What should I do if I am not sure whether this applies to me?

There is information on the HMRC and government pages online which you may find helpful. If you are at all unsure whether or not you need to register, the Trusts team at Churchers would be happy to help on an affordable, fixed-fee basis.  The team can be contacted on 02392 820 747.


By Faye Evans, Trusts and Estates Partner, Churchers Solicitors LLP

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