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Trust Registration Service


There is some important news for you if you are a holder of a “trust” (i.e. a “settlor” and/or a “trustee”). It is new UK Government legislation and you may well have to take action.

New HMRC rules have been introduced which require most trusts to be registered via the Trust Registration Service (TRS). The deadline for registering existing trusts is 1st September 2022 (for new trusts, the deadline is much shorter).

Trusts take different forms. You may have one via a family trust or an investment bond, for example. They can be onshore or offshore, and some build up a value and/or have a potential liability to tax charges.

These trusts will need to be registered imminently and any future changes will also need to be registered (e.g. if the trust starts to pay tax, or there are changes to trustees or beneficiaries). You can do this yourself, or you can appoint an agent to do it for you (they will charge a fee).

There are a few exceptions to the registration requirement, such as charitable trusts and those that involve life assurance protection only i.e. where sum assured benefits are payable only on death, but no underlying plan value is built up otherwise.

These are the steps you need to take to start the registration process (these steps cannot be delegated – the settlor/s and/or trustee/s must do this):

  1. Agree who will be the lead trustee for each trust you hold. This person will act as the contact with HMRC and maintain the register.
  2. The lead trustee then needs to set up a new ‘organisation government gateway account’ for each trust (please click here to be taken to the registration page). Please note: the lead trustee must set up a new gateway account (any existing personal accounts cannot be used).  A Unique Reference Number (URN) will then be sent to the lead trustee within 15 working days.

You will need some information which is listed on the link above, halfway down, under ‘What you’ll need’. There are no paper forms: this must be completed online.

The next steps can be delegated to an agent if you wish:

  1. Register the trust – after which HMRC will issue a Unique Trust Number (UTN);
  2. Maintain the register entry, by keeping it up to date with any changes;
  3. If the trust has a tax liability, or subsequently becomes taxable, inform the Trust Registration Service and you will receive a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) which will be needed for completion of trust tax returns.

If you would like to delegate the registration of the trust to a third party, we can introduce you to a suitable agent (but registering the trust is not something we can do).

They will take the required information from you and input the details online, at a cost of approximately £350 plus VAT for each trust (nb Flowers McEwan Ltd will receive no fee for any such introduction).


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