Frequently Asked Questions

All lifetime trusts and some will trust will need to be registered. This includes Trusts which have been closed since 6th October 2020. Trusts set up to benefit vulnerable persons I’m not subject to the trust registration requirement.

It means you are responsible for making the decision about whether the Trust needs to be registered with HMRC, for appointing a Lead Trustee and for the registration of the trust within 90 days of it being set up.

Trusts are registered online, using the government’s Trust Registration Service. Data such as names, addresses, dates of birth must be added for the Settlor(s), Trustees and all beneficiaries. Details of assets and values as well as details of any income must be provided. And there are a number of questions about the technicalities of the Trust that must be answered.

Yes you can but you will need to have a Government Gateway ID number first. you will then need to gather registration information about the trust including:

  • the name of the Trust
  • when it was established
  • up-to-date information about the Settlors, including any deceased Settlor
  • up-to-date information about all the Trustees
  • confirmation of the Lead Trustees full detail’s
  • up-to-date information about all the beneficiaries
  • detailed information about trust assets and their value
  • information about relationships with businesses within the EEU

All Trustees are deemed to be equally responsible for the Trust, but must appoint a lead trustee who becomes the main contact and responsible for receiving the trusts Unique Tax Reference ( “UTR” – if it is a taxable trust) or the Unique Reference Number (“URN” – if it is a non-taxable trust).

The Lead Trustee’s initial responsibility is for the registration of the trust and providing all the information that is required for the trust to be registered. the lead trustee then has an ongoing responsibility for keeping the trust information up to date for any changes in assets trustees or beneficiaries. For Trustees who are experienced with the workings of HMRC This will be relatively straight forward but it will still be useful to know some of the rules that will apply to the Trust.

Trust which do not currently have to register as an express trust but become registrable because the Trust becomes taxable, will need to be registered by 31 January (or 5 October) in the year following the tax year in which the liability to taxation arose.
Non-taxable Trusts must be registered within 90 days from the creation of the Trust. Trusts which were created prior to 1 June 2022 should have been registered by 1 September 2022.

Trust which have been closed but were still existing on or after 6 October 2020 must still be registered.

All trusts which have a liability, or become liable to pay capital gains tax “CGT”, inheritance tax “IHT” or income tax “IT”, Will have a legal requirement to submit a tax return. If the trust does have a tax liability but it is covered by a relief or exemption, the trust does still need to be registered so the relief or exemption may be claimed through HMRC’s self-assessment system. If your trust does have an income tax liability there are ways to manage this and avoid the need to submit income tax returns and pay income tax at the highest rates.

Trustees have a legal duty to appoint a Lead Trustee and register the Trust. Similarly, they have a legal responsibility to submit a tax return, whenever it is necessary. Failure to comply with these legal responsibilities can result in a fine, starting out £100 but increasing over time. As with everything else to do with HMRC, not knowing about something is not deemed to be an acceptable Reason for not having done something.