HMRC’s Trust Registration Service (TRS) started on 1 September 2021 with a deadline of 1 September 2022 for all existing Trusts to be registered. There has been some confusion over whether or not Trusts that have closed or will close before 1 September 2022 need to be registered, i.e. if the Trust closed before the facilities to register it became available. The HMRC have now announced that these Trusts will, in fact, need to be registered and then closed.
The HMRC released the following statement:
“On 6 October 2020, amendments to the Money Laundering Regulations came into force to require trusts without tax liabilities to be registered on the Trust Registration Service (TRS). Any trust that was within the scope of registration on or after 6 October 2020 is required to register by 1 September 2022. The IT changes required to enable trustees to register such trusts in practice were completed on 1 September 2021. Trusts that were in existence on or after 6 October 2020, and have since ceased, are still liable for registration on TRS. Trustees of such trusts should register them on TRS and them immediately close the trust record. We appreciate that it may be challenging to raise sufficient awareness of this requirement with former trustees and agents of trusts that no longer exist, however we have an obligation to produce and maintain a comprehensive register of trusts in the UK from 6 October 2020 onwards. HMRC will take a proportionate approach should any such trust come to our attention after the deadline for registration of 1 September 2022.”
This does not apply to Trusts that were exempt from registration, i.e. if it had less than £100 in it or if it was a Will Trust that closed within 2 years. These guidelines for registering closed Trusts would only apply to Trusts that still had assets in them after 6 October 2020, where the assets have since been appointed out and the Trusts have been closed.