Kay Stewart discusses the Trust Registration Service

Recent changes to legislation surrounding the Trust Registration Service (TRS) means that all trusts in the UK must now by law be registered, even if they are not taxable. The aim of the scheme is to help trustees and personal representatives, particularly those of complex trusts to comply with their reporting and registration obligations

As of 6 October 2020 the requirements were set that

  1. All non-taxable trusts in existence as of 6 October 2020 must have registered with the TRS by 1 September 2022,
  2. Similarly, all non-taxable trusts created between 6 October 2020 and 4 June 2022 must have been registered by 1 September 2022
  3. Non taxable trusts created on or after 4 June 2022 must be registered within 90 days of creation
  4. Any changes to the details of a trust or its circumstances must be registered with the TRS within 90 days.

The registration requirements capture all non-UK express trusts which acquire land in the UK on or after 6 October 2020, or have at least one UK resident trustee and enter a new business relationship with a UK ‘relevant person’ (most often a UK professional service provider)

The new requirements also capture all UK express trusts, subject to exclusions such as:

  • Charitable trusts,
  • Registered pension schemes,
  • Trusts imposed by statute (intestacy/bankruptcy)
  • Trusts with life policies paying out on death
  • Certain ‘financial’ or ‘commercial’ trusts created in the court of professional services for holding client money

These registration requirements are incredibly wide, and with no back stop date for how old trusts can be, some historic trusts still in existence on 6 October 2020 will need to be registered. The registration requirements are so wide in fact that any trust which has been in existence since 6 October 2020 but which is closed prior to 1 September 2022 will still need to register but should then immediately be reported as closed.

The new requirement substantially increases the regulatory burden of trustees with penalties of up to £5,000 where trusts are deliberately not registered on time or kept up to date.

For further information on this topic or on any other legal area, please contact John Szepietowski or Kay Stewart at Audley Chaucer Solicitors on 01372 303444 or email admin@audleychaucer.com or visit our Linkedin page.

Gregory Horne

This is correct as at October 2022

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