Lodders has a dedicated TRS team to help you understand the requirements and to guide you through the process of registering your trust. For more information, you can visit our dedicated Trust Registration Service FAQ page.
The TRS is a register of the beneficial ownership of trusts. The TRS was set up in 2017 as part of an EU anti-money laundering directive aimed at combatting money laundering, serious crime, and terrorist financing. All UK express trusts liable to pay UK tax were required to register. Each EU member state has a similar register, and the UK agreed to maintain the TRS as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
New rules came into force in October 2020 that require all UK trusts (bar a few exceptions – see below), and some non-UK trusts, in existence on or after 6 October 2020 to register with HMRC by 1 September 2022. This includes trusts that have closed since that date.
Previously, only trusts that paid certain taxes were required to register with the TRS. The new rules have widened the TRS to all UK trusts including ones that are not liable to tax unless the trust is specifically excluded.
Exclusions include pension schemes; charitable trusts; will trusts that are 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. The full list of trusts that are not required to register can be found here.
Legal responsibility for registration falls upon the trustees. It is a matter for the trustees to decide and appoint a lead trustee to do this. Alternatively, trustees can appoint an agent, such as Lodders, to register the trust. The trustees are required to keep accurate and up-to-date written records of the beneficial owners, including settlors (the persons who established the trust), trustees, and beneficiaries. The lead trustee is also obliged to keep the register updated each year or on certain specific events occurring. HMRC may impose penalties and fines for non-compliance on trustees who fail to comply with the registration requirements.
The data on TRS is only available to those who have a legitimate interest such as law enforcement agencies investigating money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. HMRC can refuse access where there is a disproportionate risk of exposing the beneficial owner for example to fraud, blackmail, or intimidation.
The lead trustee can register the trust on the HMRC Government website here or Lodders can help you. We have a team of experienced trust administrators who have been specifically trained to gather the information required to complete the TRS process and register the trust.
Our fees for registering a trust with the Trust Registration Service are £500 + VAT for existing clients, and £750 + VAT for new clients.
Sarah is a tax and trusts expert specialist, with expert knowledge of registering trusts with the TRS. Sarah is a senior associate in Lodders’ Private Client team.
For help with registering your trust, please complete this short form here.
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