The clock is ticking. Trustees need to act now to see whether they have a trust that requires registration. We have a team of trust specialists who can assist.

Trust Registration Service

HMRC has announced that the upgraded Trust Registration Service (TRS) is now live, meaning the clock is ticking to register all trusts that fall under the guidance’s scope.

When the TRS was first introduced in 2017, only trusts with a relevant UK tax liability were required to register.

The requirement to now register non-taxable trusts is in response to the UK’s implementation of the EU Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive (5MLD). This directive aims to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, and is continuing to be implemented despite the UK’s exit from the EU.

What’s the timeline for the new regulations?

The timeline for registration is as follows:

  • All applicable trusts that were in existence on or after 6th October 2020 must be registered by 1st September 2022.
  • Trusts created after 1st September 2022 must register within 90 days.

What’s the scope of the new regulations?

All UK trusts (and some non-UK trusts) are within scope unless expressly excluded by HMRC’s guidance. So, for example, trusts including life policies or pensions written into trust, UK-registered charities, will trusts that are limited to two years, and trusts for bereaved children are excluded.

Since the extension of the scope, there has inevitably been several queries and helpful clarifications from HMRC. The guidance issued in respect of the trust register has been updated and can be found at

The widening of the registration requirement scope has left many in the industry concerned that trustees may be unsure what constitutes a relevant trust, which may lead to people being caught out.

In addition, some arrangements that are very popular amongst parents and grandparents, such as bare trusts and bank accounts held for minors, are no longer exempt.

Those failing to register trusts that apply risk a fine, with potentially larger penalties where the government deems the failure deliberate. Therefore, it’s imperative for all trustees to check the government’s guidance carefully and seek professional advice where necessary.

All trusts in scope will be asked to provide details such as trustees, settlors, protectors and the beneficiaries. While the register may be seen as a potential administrative burden, trustees can be assured that the information provided will not be in the public domain and remain confidential.

As many trusts play a significant role in estate planning in complex and sensitive financial planning situations, considerable care and tact are paramount!

Get in touch for more information

For advice on how this change may affect you, please speak to us.