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Harwood Hutton’s Trust Registration Service assists trustees and personal representatives of complex estates in meeting their reporting obligations and avoiding potential penalties.

We can help trustees understand their likely obligations under these rules and are on hand to assist with the online registration process, which is done through gov.uk.

Following the adoption of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), The HMRC Trust Register came into effect in June 2017. Under 4MLD only ‘express trusts’ with certain UK tax liabilities were required to register.

As part of the implementation of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), the requirement to register has now been extended.

The trusts that now need to register under 5MLD include the following:

  • All UK ‘express trusts’, which are those deliberately created by a settlor (and which are not specifically excluded) regardless of whether the trustees incur a liability to UK tax.
  • Non-UK express trusts where the trust has acquired land or property in the UK on or after 6 October 2020.
  • Non-UK express trusts which have at least one trustee resident in the UK when the trustees enter into a business relationship with an ‘obliged entity’ in the UK, for example a financial or credit institution, accountant, tax adviser, legal professional, estate agent or art dealer
  • Non-express trusts and specifically excluded express trusts which have a UK tax liability.

Trusts specifically excluded from the requirement to register (unless subject to UK tax) include but are not limited to:

  • Trusts imposed by legislation or court order
  • Trusts of jointly held property, if the legal and beneficial owners are the same
  • Estates (apart from registrable complex estates) and trusts created on death that are only in existence for a period of two years from the date of death
  • Certain Trusts holding insurance policies and compensation pay-outs
  • Certain employee share scheme trusts
  • Charitable trusts
  • UK pension schemes registered under Part 4 Finance Act 2004
  • Trusts where a disabled person is the beneficiary
  • Pilot trusts created before 6 October 2020 with assets not exceeding £100
  • Trusts in relation to financial and capital markets
  • Trusts created in the course of professional services and commercial arrangements
  • Approved maintenance funds for historic buildings
  • Trusts created for public authorities
  • Trusts registered on another European Economic Area register, unless the trust is a non-UK trust with no UK trustees where the trustees acquire UK land
  • Child bank accounts which are held as bare trusts (but not other assets held under bare trust)

Trustees have until 1 September 2022 to register a non-taxable trust under their control that was in existence on or after 6 October 2020.

Where newly-created UK trusts or non-UK trusts trigger an obligation to enrol on the Trust Register on or after 3 June 2022, the deadline for doing so is 90 days from the event that triggered the obligation, which could be later than 1 September 2022.

Trustees will also have 90 days from the date a change of certain circumstances occurs to update any relevant information on the Trust Register.

Details required
Trustees will be required to provide details of the trust itself (including its tax residence status and the assets it holds), as well as information in respect of the settlor(s), trustee(s) and potential beneficiaries. The trustees will be required to keep the information up to date through an annual declaration.

For more information about the Trust Registration Service, contact Chris Hadley

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