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What is the Trusts Registration Service?

The Trust Registration Service (TRS) provides an online route for trusts and complex estates, to comply with their registration obligations and to obtain their Self Assessment Unique Tax Reference.

It replaces the current paper 41G(Trust) form and the ad hoc process for trustees to notify H M Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of changes in their circumstances. Trusts that are required to register with HMRC are now required to do so through TRS.

What do you need to do?

All taxable, relevant trusts must register with the TRS. All relevant trusts need to keep accurate, up to date written records of their beneficial owners.

When does it need to be done by?

5 March 2018 – The deadline for registering all other existing relevant trusts with a tax consequence in 2016/17.

31 January 2019 (and later years) – the deadline to notify HMRC of any changes during the preceding tax year to any of the information previously reported. A change only needs to be reported if there was also a tax consequence for the trust in the tax year of change.

For example, if a new trustee is appointed but there was no tax consequence in the same tax year, the deadline to report the new trustee is 31 January after the next tax year with a tax consequence.

What information do we need to provide?

Practical details about the trust such as full name, date of creation, assets held and tax residency are required, as well as details on all the beneficial owners.

The regulations include the requirement for HMRC to maintain a list of potential beneficiaries listed in any letter of wishes. They also make provision for unknown or undetermined beneficiaries – for example unborn children in a family trust – to be included by reporting a class of beneficiaries, using the wording in the trust deed to define the class.

If at any point any of the children or grandchildren receive a benefit from the trust, they would need to be registered as a beneficiary in their own right.

What happens if we can’t get all the information?

Many of the data fields in the TRS are mandatory, which means that the submission cannot be completed until those fields have been completed. Full data may not be available for a number of reasons, but HMRC expect trustees to make best efforts to obtain information.

The position for executors of estates

Executors of complex estates who need to submit annual tax returns for the administration period must use the TRS to tell HMRC about the estate and to obtain an estate UTR. Estates are not subject to the regulations but the TRS is being used as the same route for registration following withdrawal of form 41G.

A complex estate is one where:

  • The estate is valued at over £2.5m,
  • The tax due for the whole period of administration will exceed £10,000
  • The estate will make sales of assets of over £500,000 (£250,000 for deaths prior to April 2016)


If need any help with your Trust registration, or you would like Rawlinsons to complete the process with the Trust Registration Service for you, please contact the tax experts at Rawlinsons on 01733 568123.