Getting your Trust correctly set up on the Trust Register

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The government have recently introduced the 5th Anti Money Laundering Directive which includes increased transparency and greater accessibility of information about any Trust.

Back in June 2017 HMRC created a “Trust Register”. Any taxable Trust that existed at that time should have been registered on the Trust Register. Any taxable Trust created after that date should have been added to the Trust Register. Non taxable Trusts did not have to do anything, until now.

The Trust Register is not publically available information; it is a government held database which includes details of any people connected to a Trust (i.e. the settlor, the trustees and the beneficiaries), together with a brief description of the type of assets held within the trust. These details are accessible only to certain interested parties through the government to prevent money laundering.

Registering a Trust on the Trust Register is a totally separate exercise to registering a Trust with HMRC as a taxable entity.

Since its introduction in 2017 nothing much has happened with the Trust Register.

Big changes are now being introduced:

  • All current non-taxable trusts (which are not registered for tax with HMRC) must now register on the Trust Register. Each non-taxable trust will receive a URN (unique reference number). The deadline for doing this is 1st September 2022. The information that these non-taxable Trusts need to include on the register is far briefer than the information required of a taxable Trust. 
  • All current taxable Trusts (i.e. ones that are already registered for tax and already on the Trust Register) must make annual declarations that the information held on the Trust Register is correct. The information must be updated if it changes, such as on a change to the trustees, etc…

As accountants we are able to register a non-taxable Trust on the Trust Register on behalf of the Lead Trustee, without the Lead Trustee having to create their own government gateway account on behalf of the Trust. HMRC will then issue the URN directly to the Lead Trustee. The Lead Trustee does not need to have any further involvement until either something changes that needs to be updated on the Trust Register, or if the Trust becomes taxable and needs to proceed to a full tax registration with HMRC.

We can also assist with updates to the Register if your Trust has already been set up on the Trust Register. We can talk you through how to set up the government gateway account and how to do the digital handshake with ourselves to enable us to access the Trust Register on your behalf.

If you need our assistance in register a non-taxable Trust on the Trust Register, or if you need bullet point guidance on how to create a government gateway account to manage this yourself then please get in touch with Ellis & Co on 01244 343504.