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Trust Registration Service (“TRS”)

Since 2017 the UK Government have committed to a register of the beneficial ownership of Trusts – set up as part of an EU anti-money laundering directive.  The data on the register is only available to those with a ‘legitimate interest’ to access the information (the requestor must be looking into a specified specific instance of money laundering or terrorist financing, and it must be reasonable for the requestor to have that suspicion. Further detail on this can be accessed via the HMRC link at the bottom of this email.) 

This has resulted with a legal obligation for Trustees to register with HMRC the particulars of various Trust arrangements.  The circumstances in which trusts are required to be register have been extended and many trusts not currently registered will need to register by 1 September 2022.

Non-taxable express trusts that were in existence on or after 6 October 2020 and are not already registered with the TRS may be required to do so by 1 September 2022. This also includes trusts that have been closed on or after 6 October 2020.  New registrable trusts will be required to register within 90 days of their creation (this includes trusts set up in the 90 days immediately prior to 1 September 2022). Information held on TRS must also be updated within 90 days of the date that the trustees become aware of changes to the trust details or beneficial ownership.

If the trust is taxable the trustees must declare the trust is up to date on an annual basis by 31 January.

It is important that trustees review their position concerning TRS registration (and registration maintenance) to avoid potential penalties.

Action Required

In relation to trusts for which Shepherd Private Clients currently provides tax compliance services or have provided advice on their creation, we will be in contact to ensure that the trustees obligations concerning TRS registration are met.

We can discuss with you any trusts you have, where we are not engaged, to help you understand any TRS requirements arising. Please contact a member of our team us and we will be happy to help you understand how the new TRS registration rules impact you.

More Information

Trustees are required to register a trust on TRS if it is liable to pay any of the following taxes: income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, stamp duty land tax (land and buildings transaction tax in Scotland or land transaction tax in Wales) or stamp duty reserve tax. Trustees must also declare these taxable trusts are up to date on an annual basis by 31 January.

The new rules introduced on 6 October 2020 extend the scope of the trust register to UK and some non-UK trusts (with some specific exceptions), regardless of whether or not the trust is liable to pay any tax. This means that TRS registration will become mandatory for:

  • All UK express trusts unless specifically excluded (an express trust is a trust created deliberately by a settlor usually in the form of a document to take effect during their lifetime or on their death)
  • A non-UK express trust which is liable to UK taxation as a result of receiving UK source income or holding assets in the UK
  • Any other non-UK express trust with links to the UK (enters into a business relationship with a relevant person in the UK where the trust has at least one UK trustee or acquires land or property in the UK)

More information can be obtained in the HMRC link below:

Register a trust as a trustee – GOV.UK (