3rd May 2022
The Trust Registration Service (TRS) is a register of the beneficial ownership under trust arrangements. The requirement to register trusts started in 2017 and its scope widened considerably on 6 October 2020. These latest changes are likely to bring many more non-UK trusts within the scope of TRS.
Types of non-UK trust arrangements that need to be registered
Trusts with a UK tax liability
Any trusts with a liability on UK source income or assets will need to register. Trusts required to register are those with a liability to:
- Income Tax
- Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
- Inheritance Tax
- Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland)
- Land Transaction Tax (Wales)
- Stamp Duty Reserve Tax
Note that if there is a UK tax liability on non-UK assets (e.g. shares in a non-UK company holding UK residential property) trustees do not need to register. However, non-UK companies holding property may have to register on The Register of Overseas Entities.
Trusts acquiring land in the UK
Trusts which acquire land in the UK on or after 6 October 2020 will need to register.
Trusts entering into a business relationship
Where the trustees include at least one UK resident trustee, they will be required to register if they enter into a business relationship in the UK.
Certain types of trust will be excluded from the requirement to register, including will trusts, disabled person’s trusts, charitable trusts and certain life insurance policy trusts, amongst others.
Trusts with a UK tax liability created before 6 April 2021 must register by 31 January following the end of the tax year in which they first become taxable. This deadline is brought forward to 5 October if the liability is to Income Tax or CGT as the registration is linked to the request for a tax return to be issued.
All other trusts (non-taxable trusts and post 5 April 2021 taxable trusts) with a requirement to register must register by 1 September 2022 or 90 days from the date the requirement to register is triggered, whichever is later.
If a pre-6 April 2021 trust has a requirement to register as a taxable trust and also as a result of acquiring property or forming a business relationship, the earlier deadlines apply.
Any changes to the information held on the register must be notified within 90 days of the change.
Taxable trusts are required to make an annual confirmation that the register is up to date by 31 January each year.
Whilst HMRC originally outlined a penalty scheme, it has stated that these will not be automatically issued, and a pragmatic approach will be followed. However, we would expect this approach to harden, and trustees should use their best endeavours to meet deadlines.
Retention of data and access to the register
Certain information must be held by the trustees and from 1 September 2022, those with a legitimate interest will be able to request limited information. Further details of this will be issued in the coming months.
Professional trustees must retain the data for five years from the date of the final distribution of assets and they must then delete the records unless they have permission to retain it or reasonably believe it may be required under an enactment or for the purposes of court proceedings.
For further information and to obtain a copy of our full TRS guide for non-UK trusts, please contact Stephanie Parker, Trust Director, or your usual haysmacintyre contact.