The Trust Registration Service (TRS) is an online register of the beneficial ownership of trusts. It was set up in 2017 as part of an EU anti-money laundering directive aimed at combatting money laundering, serious crime, and terrorist financing.
Previously, only trusts that paid certain taxes were required to register with the TRS. The new rules have widened the registration requirement to all UK trusts, including ones not liable to tax.
The duty to register falls on the trustees, who will be liable to pay a fine if registration is not completed by the 1 September 2022 deadline.
The only opt-out from the trust registration requirement is if a trust falls within specific exclusions that are considered low risk by HMRC. This includes pension schemes, charitable trusts, will trusts wound up within two years of death, policy trusts paying out on death or critical illness, and existing trusts with a value of less than £100 created prior to 6 October 2020.
Even trusts in the excluded categories must register if they have a liability to UK tax. There are also provisions for non-UK trusts: if this is of relevance to you, we can advise further.
Is it possible that you have been involved in setting up a trust, or acting as a trustee in the past?
What constitutes a trust is not always intuitive. Partnerships are, of course, a common vehicle through which farming businesses operate, and it is not unusual for land and assets to be held by some partners in trust for the partners of the business as a whole. Investments such as stocks and shares held on trust for the benefit of a minor are also included.
The lead trustee should register the trust online at www.gov.uk. The trustee must have an organisational government gateway account.
You will need to enter details on:
A complete list of what information is needed is available on www.gov.uk.
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