New rules introduced on 6 October 2020 require most UK trusts (and some non-UK trusts) to register via the Trust Registration Service (TRS) regardless of their taxable status. These rules apply to all express UK trusts (subject to limited exclusions) including Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) and Employee Ownership Trust (EOTs). Previously only taxable trusts were required to register with HMRC.
Until recently, it was not possible to register non-taxable trusts under the new rules due to delays in establishing the new registration service. However, from 1 September 2021 the TRS is accepting registration of non-taxable trusts and HMRC has set out the extended deadlines for registration as follows:
- Non-taxable trusts in existence on 6 October 2020 must be registered by 1 September 2022;
- Non-taxable trusts created after 6 October 2020 must be registered by 1 September 2022 or within 90 days of creation (whichever is later); and
- Any changes to the trust details and/or circumstances following first registration must be notified within 90 days of the change.
To register a trust, the trustees (or their agents) are required to provide information about the trust itself and any persons involved in the trust (including the settlor, trustees, beneficiaries and controlling parties). The information held on the TRS is not open to the public but will be available, in limited circumstances and following a request, to organisations and persons involved in preventative work in the field of anti-money laundering, counter terrorist financing and associated offences. All information provided to HMRC will remain on the register until it is updated by the trustee (or their agent). When a trust is closed information will be retained for 10 years before no longer forming part of the TRS.
Please note registration with the TRS does not remove the obligation on trustees to maintain their own records and additional registration requirements apply to taxable trusts.