UK trust register expanded
Does your trust now have to register with HMRC? The Trust Register (TRS) first came into force in 2017. At that time, the purpose of the Register was to provide a way for taxable trusts to register with HMRC and fulfil the UK’s obligations under the 4th EU Money Laundering Directive (MLD).
On 6 October 2020 the UK implemented the EU’s 5th MLD and this has resulted in significant changes to the TRS. Now all ‘express’ trusts must be registered on the TRS regardless of whether or not they are taxable. This means that many bare trust and property ownership arrangements will be required to register. Non-EU trusts that acquire UK real estate (after 5 October 2020) or have at least one UK trustee and enter into a business relationship with a UK service provider will also be required to register. Once registered, trustees will have only 90 days to update the register for any changes to the trust terms or personnel.
The updated TRS online facility became available for use in September 2021.
There are exemptions for certain types of express trusts that means they do not have to register, a list of which can be found in our briefing note.
In addition to many new registrations being required, existing trusts that have already registered are required to provide more detail on the persons connected with the trust.
The details on the TRS will be made available to third parties who prove to have a legitimate interest in the information retained. A legitimate interest is defined as suspicion that the trust has been used for money laundering or the financing of terrorist activities.
Trustees have until 1 September 2022 to get any non-taxable trusts onto the TRS, failure to do so may result in penalties. Third party requests for the information on the TRS will also be considered from that date.
The mantra must now be, see Trust, think TRS.