Trustees—administration of trusts
I5.1030 Trust returns and information
The provisions described in this document deal with the administrative provisions for trustees of settlements.
Trust Registration Service (TRS)
What is the Trust Registration Service?
HMRC's Trusts Registration Service (TRS), which launched in July 2017 (replacing form 41G (Trust)), provides a single online route for trusts (and estates) to register and update trust records online, and to comply with their tax obligations1. New trusts can use the TRS to obtain a unique taxpayer reference (UTR).
The TRS currently implements the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations2 under the EU Fourth and Fifth Money Laundering Directives (4MLD and 5MLD).
The obligations under the regulations, together with practical guidance, has been updated numerous times, often by way of HMRC's Trusts and Estates Newsletters. This information has now been largely consolidated in HMRC's Trust Registration Service Manual3.
Which trusts must register with the TRS?
The Trust Register originally covered just trusts with a UK tax liability, but this was promptly extended to other trusts4:
Registrable express trust
All UK express trusts are required to register. An express trust is one that has been settled by some deliberate action by the settlor — most typical trusts (such as discretionary trusts or life interest trusts) will fall into this category (whether settled during lifetime or on death).
Express trusts must be contrasted with trusts that come into existence through the operation of the law, such as constructive trusts or the statutory trust under intestacy. Further guidance on express trusts can be found at TSEM9510 onwards.
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