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Tax Aware FAQ: Do I have to register my trust under the Trust Registration Service?

Posted on 6 April 2022

Background

HMRC's Trust Registration Service (TRS) was introduced in 2017 in line with the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) to improve transparency around the ownership of trust assets and individuals connected with trusts.

In its original iteration, most trusts with certain UK tax liabilities were obliged to register. Applicable trustees were required to register the trust, keep up-to-date information, and confirm annually whether there had been any changed.

As part of the Fifth AMLD (5AMLD), the trusts required to register has been expanded (regardless of a UK tax liability) to include the following:

  • All UK "express trusts" (meaning one created deliberately by the action of the settlor(s)), unless specifically excluded (such as trusts required to open a bank account for a child)
  • All non-UK trusts that acquire an "interest in UK land" on or after 6 October 2020. For these purposes, the trustees acquire an interest in UK land if at least one of the trustees becomes registered in HM Land Registry as proprietor.
  • All non-UK trusts that enter into a business relationship with a “relevant person” if a UK resident is a trustee of the trust.
  • Non-express trusts, and certain excluded express trusts, which have a UK tax liability.

Broadly, the information registered under the TRS includes:

  • the name and date of the trust;
  • whether the trust has acquired UK land since 6 October 2020; and
  • identification details of:
    • the settlor;
    • the trustees;
    • the named beneficiaries;
    • beneficiaries who have received benefits;
    • anyone with control over the trust; and
    • (if the trust is taxable), the value of the trust as at the date of registration.

The Trust Register is not fully publicly accessible, but certain persons will have access, or the ability to request access to certain information.

The TRS online service is now open for registrations. The deadline for registration depends on the type of trust or trigger event.

Do I have to register my trust?

We have developed a tool to provide an indicative view on whether or not a trust (UK or overseas) needs to be registered on the Trust Registration Service and by when.

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