Trust registration service (TRS)

Produced by Tolley

The following Trusts and Inheritance Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Trust registration service (TRS)
  • Background to the trust registration service
  • Which trusts need to register?
  • UK trusts
  • Non-UK trusts
  • What information must be provided?
  • When does the information need to be provided?
  • Who can access the information on the register?
  • Penalties
  • The mechanics of registration

Trust registration service (TRS)

Background to the trust registration service

HMRC’s online TRS is stated to have been designed to implement the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), as well as to support the digital direction of HMRC and general tax transparency going forwards.

This legislation forms part of the UK’s overall anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime and came into force on 26 June 2017 to give effect to the EU’s fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4MLD).

The EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) was published in the EU official journal on 19 June 2018 and came into force on 9 July 2018. Following a consultation period, the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 came into force partly on 6 October 2020, partly on IP completion day and 6 April 2021 and fully on 10 March 2022.

HMRC has provided information and guidance on the TRS in a piecemeal fashion over a long period (often through the Trusts and Estates Newsletters). This guidance has now been largely consolidated in a new Trust Registration Manual.

Which trusts need to register?

Initially, all UK express trusts which had a liability to pay any of the relevant UK taxes (income tax, CGT, IHT, SDLT (or the Scottish equivalent) or stamp duty reserve tax) were liable to register.

All non-UK express trusts which incurred a liability to pay any of the relevant UK taxes in relation to only the UK source income or UK assets held directly by the trust and not through an underlying company were also liable to register.

UK trusts

Since 5MLD, in principle, all UK express trusts will have to register. However, the following categories of trust are excluded from registration:

  1. trusts which come into existence by operation of law (such as trusts arising on intestacy, implied or constructive trusts, and trusts created under a court order)

  2. trusts relating to joint ownership of property (for example, land

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