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Registration extension for some non-taxpaying trusts

5 February 2021: HMRC is developing the Trust Registration Service (TRS) to allow for the extension of the requirement to register to certain non-taxpaying trusts. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty is encouraging members to help test the system.

The 31 January 2021 deadline for the first updates to the trust register (or confirmation of no change), has only just passed but already the extension of the requirements to considerably more trusts is coming into view.

The new rules were introduced on 6 October 2020 as part of the UK’s implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD). On 25 January 2021 HMRC published an overview of the changes which explains in broad terms which trusts will need to register by 10 March 2022. These are:

  • All UK express trusts, unless they are specifically excluded – UK trusts are generally those where all of the trustees are based in the UK.
  • Non-UK express trusts (generally those where all the trustees are resident outside the UK) which have either:
    - at least one trustee resident in the UK when the trustees enter into a “business relationship” with an “obliged entity”   or acquire land or property in the UK; or
    - no UK resident trustees, but the trust acquires land or property in the UK.
  • Non-express trusts and specifically excluded express trusts which have a tax liability. These trusts will still have to be registered on TRS for self assessment purposes, even though they are not in scope under the new 5MLD rules.

HMRC will be publishing detailed guidance in due course.

The TRS, which continues to cause problems for those trusts already required to register under 4MLD, is not yet ready to accept registrations of non-taxpaying trusts.

In advance of the service becoming available to non-taxpaying trusts later in 2021, HMRC is seeking volunteers to test the system and the Tax Faculty would encourage members to help HMRC to improve the service. Details of how to participate are available on gov.uk