What is the Trust Registration Service (TRS)?
As part of European wide anti-money laundering regulations, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) now require most Trusts to be registered on their online Trust Registration Service (TRS). Previously, only Trusts that had to pay tax had to register; the requirement now extends to most Trusts, regardless of their tax status.
Which Trusts have to register?
Generally speaking, if you have set up any of the following, they will need to be registered on the TRS:
- Any Trust that has an Investment Bond within it
- A Designated Unit Trust (where you have set up an Unit Trust with your money for the benefit of someone else)
- Any Trust holding the surrender proceeds of a Protection Plan. A Protection Plan that is still in force does not need to register even if it has a surrender value
- Any Asset Preservation Trust set up on or after 6 October 2020. Any Asset Preservation Trusts set up before 6 October 2020 will only need to be registered if substantial assets are added to them.
What does this mean for my Trust?
If you have a Trust that needs to be registered, you must do this by 1 September 2022, or within 90 days of it being set up, whichever is the later. The TRS must also be kept up to date with any changes such as a change of Trustee and such updates must be made within 90 days of the change. Failure to complete the TRS and keep it up to date may result in a fine from HMRC.
It is the responsibility of the Trustees to ensure the TRS is completed and kept up to date. All Trustees are equally legally responsible for the Trust, but you must nominate one ‘Lead’ Trustee to complete the TRS. They will then be the main point of contact for HMRC.
If you have more than one Trust, each one must be registered separately.