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Trust registration service – do you need to register your trust?

Trust registration service – do you need to register your trust?

Changes to the way trusts must be registered came into force in October 2020 - and it's important you know what you need to do and when.

This is where Wards Solicitors' specialist Trust Solicitors can help, by talking you through what information you are legally required to supply, registering your trust for you if necessary, and keeping it updated.

How has the Trust Registration Service changed?

HMRC has essentially extended the Trust Registration Service (TRS) to non-tax paying trusts and is now requesting specific information too. Previously, the obligation to register has applied only to trusts that incur a UK tax liability.

The TRS was launched in 2017 as part of the UK's implementation of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), designed to strengthen the UK's defences against money laundering and terrorist financing.

But now the next stage of the plan, the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) - implemented in October 2020 - will need to be abided to when HMRC's new portal comes online. There have been some delays but the indication is that it should be ready to register trusts by late summer 2021.

Which trusts will need to be registered?

The new legislation now requires all trusts, apart from a few exceptions, to be registered with the TRS, including:

  • Trusts of land where the legal owners registered at the Land Registry are different to the owners who derive an interest from the property;
  • Trusts which hold an asset like a loan or property for a surviving spouse or other beneficiaries after death;
  • Bare trusts, for example, where a parent holds an asset for their minor child;

Are any trusts excluded from the new legislation?

Yes, there are some exemptions, but it's best to check with us whether your trust falls into one of the excluded categories. They include:

  • Intestacy Trusts;
  • Trusts imposed by a court order;
  • Pension scheme trusts;
  • Charitable trusts;
  • Will trusts, within the first two years of death only.

What trust information will I need to supply?

The information required is broadly the same as that required by the previous legislation.

You can find more information by clicking here to read our new Legal Guide - Trust Registration: What you need to know.

What is the deadline for registering a trust with the Trust Registration Service?

HMRC's online portal still isn't up and running but it is expected to be ready for non-tax paying trust registrations by late summer.

From this point, trustees will have 12 months to register their existing qualifying trusts.

Any trusts created after the portal becomes available will have 30 days from creation to register.

Is that all I need to do?

Not quite! Once the trust is registered, you have a legal obligation to register any changes to the information you previously reported within 30 days using the online portal.

This might include things like a change in trustees or assets or a beneficiary's address.

Failure to comply with the rules could lead to a significant fine and other sanctions.

We can help

Our specialist Trust team is offering a quick and easy package to register your Trust, priced at £250 + Vat. This will not only bring peace of mind but ensure all your paperwork is in order.

We can also keep your Trust updated on the TRS portal for an additional fee of £125 + VAT.

For further information and advice, please contact Trust Solicitors Mary Harty or Klerwi Le Fol-Caraës.


Call: 0117 929 2811