We are pleased to report that, following representations from the ATT, CIOT and a number of other professional bodies, HMRC have acknowledged feedback received about the Trust Registration Service (TRS) and the pressure placed on agents during peak self-assessment season. Accordingly, a soft landing for penalties has been announced, which effectively gives agents an extra five weeks to 5 March 2018 to comply with these new requirements for reportable trusts. This deadline applies to all trusts which already have a unique taxpayer reference, or do not need one.
According to the HMRC announcement issued to the ATT, CIOT and other professional bodies on 8 December:
“We have listened to your feedback about initial difficulties with this new service and the pressures this is placing on agents at a very busy time. Therefore, for this, the first year of operation only, HMRC will not impose a penalty on the trustees of taxable relevant trusts if the trustees, or an agent acting on behalf of the trustees, fail to register on TRS by 31 January 2018 but do so no later than 5 March 2018. This applies for both trusts which are already registered for Self-Assessment (SA) and those which do not require to be registered for SA.”
There is no change to the previously announced extension for trusts who are first registering for self-assessment in 2016/17. These trusts still need to register with the TRS by 5 January 2018 in order for the UTR to be issued securely in time for the self-assessment deadline of 31 January 2018.
HMRC also said:
“The Trust Registration Service (TRS) is an important tool for the UK government in meeting its obligations to tackle money laundering and it is important that the register is complete, but it is also important that we enable and support trustees and agents to comply with these new requirements, rather than simply enforce non-compliance”.