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Trust Registration Service - Updating your records

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The administration of a trust is becoming increasingly comparable to that of a company, with the Trust Registration Service (TRS) and the responsibilities of trustees in respect of that, comparable to those for Companies House. Trustees are required to record and maintain certain information, and it should not be forgotten that this should be done in compliance with GDPR.

The principle purpose of the TRS is to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, and the requirements come from the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive.

Currently, all trusts which have UK tax liabilities (Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax, Inheritance Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax, Stamp Duty Reserve Tax and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax) need to register on the TRS.

Updating the Register

However, registration is not the end of the story. If the information that has been registered changes, you will need to update the TRS.

At present, there are two relevant deadlines to bear in mind for this purpose, as follows:

  • If any change happened before 6 April 2020, and the trust was liable to tax for any of the three tax years up to that date, you must update the details by 31 January 2021.
  • If the change was in the tax year 2020 to 2021, you must update the details by 31 January 2022.

You must declare annually on the TRS that the details recorded are accurate and up to date. You must do this whether there have been changes or not. If you are filing a self-assessment tax return, you will also need to declare that you have either updated the register or that there have been no changes.

The TRS has now been updated by HMRC to allow trustees or their agents to make the updates required. Now is therefore the time to be thinking about whether the information you hold is up to date and whether you need to update the Register.

How Roythornes can help

Registering a trust doesn’t give an agent (such as Roythornes) the ability to maintain the TRS for a trust. There are a few steps to go through before we can, but we can talk you through the process and assist with maintaining records for the trustees now and moving forward. You can choose the level of advice needed to administer the trust in a compliant and secure manner.

Speaking of moving forward - despite the UK leaving the EU, the Fifth Money Laundering Directive will be implemented by the UK, which requires significant changes to the TRS, including greatly increasing the number of trusts required to register. We will have more on that in the coming weeks.

If you would like assistance with your trust administration and the TRS, Roythornes Private Client team would be happy to help.

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