An ongoing delay means trust advisers are still unable to access the new Trusts Registration Service (TRS). This is causing great concern to trustees and their advisers and has led the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) to call for an extension to the upcoming deadline to allow advisers time to fully comply with the new rules.
New anti-money laundering regulations introduced in June 2017 require most trusts to retain written records of the individuals involved in the creation and running of the trust such as the settlors and trustees. They also require trustees to keep written details of their beneficiaries.
Any trust that is liable to certain taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty land tax and inheritance tax, has to report these same details to HMRC for inclusion on a new Trust Register via the Trusts Registration Service (TRS). The register will not be accessible to the public, but will be accessible to a number of law enforcement agencies.
The deadline for supplying the information is 31 January 2018. Trustees have been able to access the register since July but, despite an estimated 80 per cent of trusts relying upon their professional advisers to deal with matters like this, advisers do not yet have access to the TRS.
Yvette Nunn, Co-chair of ATT’s Technical Steering Group, said:
“While we understand the goal of improving transparency by creating a Trust Register, the ongoing delay in agent access to the TRS system is causing our members great concern. Our members want to comply with the new rules, and guide their clients accordingly, but are being asked to do so during their busiest months in the run up to the self-assessment deadline of 31 January 2018.
“The ongoing delay in agent access to the TRS has led us to call for the deadline to be extended to 5 April 2018 for this first year. This should ensure advisers have enough time to fully comply with the new requirements.”
Notes for editors
- The latest updates from ATT can be found here, with a more detailed Briefing Note here.
- HMRC guidance on the TRS can be found here.
- HMRC have already moved other related deadlines. For those trusts which need to register for self-assessment for the first time for 2016/17, the usual deadline is 5 October 2017. HMRC announced in August they would push this deadline back two months to 5 December 2017. However, it is now 12 October and advisers still cannot access the system, so the benefit of that extension is already being eroded.