The UK Trusts Register

If you are a trustee of a UK resident trust you may need to take action before 5th January 2018.

There is a new UK Trusts Register operated by HM Revenue & Customs which is part of the European Union's 4th anti-money laundering directive. It is not anticipated that the UK leaving the European Union will affect the need to register a UK trust.

The purpose of the register is to:

  • Provide a register of the beneficial ownership of relevant trusts; and
  • Provide a means for trustees to register trusts with HM Revenue & Customs for the purposes of obtaining a unique tax reference and delivering tax returns.

The previous method of registering trusts with HM Revenue & Customs was withdrawn in May 2017. All trusts, both new and those which already exist and have unique tax reference, must be registered on-line with HM Revenue & Customs BUT only if they have a UK tax consequence.

The dates for registration for trusts with UK tax consequence are:

  • 5th January 2018 for trusts which settled in the tax year 2016/17
  • 31st January 2018 for trusts which are already registered with HM Revenue & Customs
  • 5th October 2018 for trusts which settle in the tax year 2017/18 and thereafter 5th October in each subsequent tax year

These dates must be complied with or penalties will be incurred. What these are is not yet clear!