Trust tax train wreck

 In Gill's Blog, Tax, Trusts

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Trust administrators never die they just have a nervous breakdown round about now. In a normal year January would be busy with tax return preparation but this year the Trust Registration Service (TRS) has generated extra work.

I have already written about the problems with the TRS and have kept you up to date with the various postponements and alterations. To know you have a pile of trusts and estates to register and yet not be able to get onto the application online has raised the collective blood pressure of all involved with trusts.

To add to the quagmire, Cheryl Farnham of Arcadia Legal & Trust, a former Chair of STEP UK Practice Committee tells me that she has spotted that HMRC’s systems have been generating some CGT computations incorrectly. In looking into this she has also uncovered errors where some trusts, which are due to pay tax, are incorrectly showing that refunds from HMRC are due.

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Cheryl’s enquiries have resulted in HMRC confirming that there have been a number of calculation errors on trust returns at their end.

Where these differences arise, HMRC advise you to pay the tax that you think is due and not the amount shown on HMRC’s statements. Then write to HMRC with a list of all your trusts where there were discrepancies. The address for the team dedicated to this is:

Business Tax Operation Unit, HMRC, BX9 1EL.

Train franchises may be given back to government, we are told, partly as a result of the transport ministry delaying the upgrade of the track on the East Coast mainline. Sadly, trust administrators cannot hand over trust taxation to HM Treasury – trust administrators just have to help sort out the train wreck which is currently trust taxation. You all have my sympathy and support.

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