HMRC’S Trust Register—Important Update
As mentioned in a recent post on this blog (27.10.17), the TRS became available for use on 17 October 2017. Since then, there have been some important developments of which all practitioners will want to be aware.
- The deadline for registering new trusts and complex estates without penalty had previously been extended from the usual deadline of 5 October following the end of the tax year to 5 December 2017. This has now been extended by a further month, to 5 January 2018. This extension applies to the first year of TRS only. HMRC confirmed at the same time that the deadline for registering existing trusts remains 31 January 2018.
- With effect from 17 November 2017, Agents can now access the TRS directly. They no longer have to submit an email to HMRC and wait for approval to gain access to the trust registration process. This is very welcome news as it could take several weeks to set up an Agent Services account. You can now create one the first time you register a trust, using your agency’s Unique Taxpayer Reference and postcode. (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-clients-trust / https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-clients-estate)
- The identities/names of all actual or potential beneficiaries must be disclosed to HMRC under the TRS. HMRC guidance on this is being revised to allow trustees to use the description of the ‘class’ of beneficiaries where not all those beneficiaries have been determined. The position going forward is understood to be:
- Where a beneficiary is named separately from a class they can clearly be identified and trustees must supply the relevant information for them.
- Where a beneficiary is un-named, being part of a class of beneficiaries, their identity need only be disclosed where they receive financial or non-financial benefit from the trust after 26 June 2017.
- Named individuals who only become potential beneficiaries contingent upon a particular event need only be listed as a class of beneficiaries until such time as the contingent event occurs. At that time, the individual who might now benefit under the trust should be named.
HMRC’s guidance on GOV.UK is presently being updated to reflect this change of position, and will incorporate examples of when the description of a ‘class’ of beneficiaries will be sufficient.
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