The deadline for registrations for non-taxable trusts in existence on 6 October 2020 is 1 September 2022. Those non-taxable trusts created after 6 October 2020 must register within 90 days of being created or otherwise becoming subject to registration by 1 September 2022 (whichever is later). Once registered, trustees will have 90 days from when they are aware of any changes to update the register.
HMRC established the Trust Registration Service (TRS) back in 2017 which is an online platform that trustees are required to use to fulfil their registration obligations for trusts. The main purpose of the TRS is to reduce the risk of trusts being used for facilitating money laundering. The register includes details of all parties to the trust including the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries. It is the responsibility of the Trustees to keep the TRS updated.
Trusts which are taxable (ie those with any UK tax liability such as income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, SDLT) should already have registered with HMRC by 31 January following the end of the tax year in which the first tax charge occurred.
HMRC extended the TRS to include non-taxable express UK trusts after the UK implemented the EU’s 5th Money Laundering Directive (5MLD).
Express trusts are those created by a written deed and typically include those used for estate and IHT planning and as such do not normally have any tax charges year on year e.g. the underlying asset may be an investment bond which allows tax to be deferred until money is withdrawn (although there are sometimes IHT periodic charges or exit charges if the trust assigns the bond to a beneficiary).
HMRC has provided details of certain trusts which do not need to register, including:
HMRC may issue penalties if the trustees fail to comply with the registration or notification deadlines.
Check at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-a-trust-as-a-trustee whether you need to register your trust and if so, complete your registration using this link.