Trust register (again!)

(lesleyrance) #22

Lauren Dare, that’s exactly the problem I’m having !!
Have you got any further with yours?

Lesley Rance

Miller Hendry

(andrew.goodman) #23


The obligation of offshore trusts to register is tied to a tax liability so, in the scenario you mention, the trust would likely only have to be registered once it has actually incurred some IHT - on an anniversary or exit. If there are other trust assets which generate a UK tax liability then that will trigger the obligation.

I’m not sure how the trust would be paying income tax for the property held by an underlying company. If the trust is simply meeting the company’s liability because it has the liquidity then it would not be a trust tax liability and would not trigger the duty to register.

The guidance is over-simplifying.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

(mandy.connolly) #24

Further to Sameera’s earlier post I was thinking specifically about the application of the Trust Register Regulations to the situation of an excluded property trust being liable to IHT as a result of holding assets which will now be treated as relevant property by virtue of Finance Bill 2017 i.e. shares in an offshore company which holds UK residential property or a non-UK situs loan asset which is a relevant loan.

The Regs state that a Relevant Trust is a trust which receives income from a source in the UK or has assets in the UK on which is it liable to pay one of the specified taxes. When the trust pays IHT in relation to the shares in the underlying offshore company or a non-UK situs relevant loan this would not seem to meet the definition of a relevant trust as the asset on which the tax is being paid are not UK assets. This would seem to be the same situation as a trust that does not have excluded property status and only holds foreign assets - the trust would pay an IHT ten year charge on its foreign assets but would not be caught by the trust register Regs as it has no UK assets.

Am I missing something or would you agree that despite the trustees having a UK tax obligation (IHT), trusts in the above situation would not be required to comply with Regulation 45 as a taxable relevant trust in respect of the year that the IHT liability arises?

mandy connolly
LTS Tax Limited

(Julian Cohen) #25

It seems this was drafted for us by one of our European partners. I agree the Regulation does not aply.

Julian Cohen, Solicitor


I meant the underlying non-resident Co paying income tax on income from the property.

Sameera Nathoo


I attended the first trust register webinar on 10th Aug 2017.
The link to the recorded webinar is here:

Sameera Nathoo

Trusts Registration Service - Some answers!

Found this on page 14 & 15 of the Q&A dated 9th Oct from HMRC.

If a trust owns shares in a UK or non-UK company and the company owns assets which trigger UK tax liability, does the trust need to register?

No, the trust does not need to register on the TRS.

The tax liability must fall on the trustees directly and not on either the UK or non-UK company owned by the trust. Similarly, if any tax liability such as IHT or CGT arises on a UK residential property owned by the underlying company, the trustees are not required to register on the TRS.

However, the underlying company may be required to register details of beneficial ownership on the companies register administered by Companies House.

If, however, a UK resident or a non-UK resident express trust owns directly shares in a UK company and the trustees incur a liability to any of the relevant UK taxes on those shares then the trust will need to register on the TRS.

If a trust holds UK property through an offshore nominee company which it owns, are the assets non-UK or UK assets?

We consider that the UK property is not held directly by the trust and therefore any relevant UK tax liability in relation the UK property would not be incurred by the trustees. As such registration on the TRS would not be required.
However, if the trustees of a UK express trust incur a relevant UK tax liability in a given tax year in respect of the shares it owns in that offshore nominee company then this would trigger a requirement for registration.

For a non-UK express trust, the relevant UK tax liability has to be incurred in relation to only UK source income or UK assets owned directly by the trust. We would not consider a relevant UK tax liability incurred in relation to shares in a non-UK company requiring the trustees of a non-UK trust to register the trust on the TRS. Of course, if the trustees incurred a liability to any of the relevant UK taxes on UK income or assets also owned directly by the trust then registration on the TRS would be required.

Sameera Nathoo

(andrew.goodman) #29

I agree with the point made above (contrary to what I said earlier!) that IHT on company shares triggered by an underlying property would not require registration.

The guidance Sameera quotes in relation to nominee companies is bizarre but I think it makes sense if they are referring to situations where the nominee company is holding the property as nominee for a third party - i.e. not for itself or the trustee/trust which owns the nominee company.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

(nfox) #30

Just checking that everyone else is receiving Service Unavailable message for Trust Registration?

Nicola Fox


Yep, that’s what I’m getting!
Laura Keer
Adams and Remers

(Helen Salisbury) #32

We are a tax agent in the Channel Islands, hence do not have our own UK UTR or CT reference. I have therefore been unable to get past this part of registering as an agent for the Trust Register and seem to be stuck - is there anyone else in this position?

We act for many non-UK resident ‘relevant’ trusts (i.e. with a 2016/17 UK tax consequence) so have a large number to register before 5 December/31 January. Also we need to obtain UTRs for some new trusts, in order to submit 2016/17 tax returns for them by 31 January.

I tried calling HMRC who said all Trust Register queries had to be emailed, and their eventual email response was simply, “The service is currently only open to UK agencies. We will provide access for overseas agencies in 2018/19.”!

I realise we could probably register each trust individually (create Government Gateways for each), but this isn’t strictly correct, would take much longer, and we’d have to input all the information again as agent next year, so we really want to avoid this.

Any suggestions please??
Helen Salisbury
Saffery Champness

(Brian Smith) #33

On-Line Trust registration form is not fit for purpose. The state has failed, again.
For instance, settlor page states that settlor may be alive or dead. Fair enough. But page does not ask which settlor is. But to get beyond this page I have to enter the telephone number of the settlor. Perhaps you can work out the telephone number of a deceased settlor for me. Later on, form goes on about “beneficiaries in the trust” What??? I have telephoned hmrc trust helpline five times and not had help. I have tried hmrc webchat, but my computer crashed.
My specific problem is naming beneficiaries. I thought form may allow up to ten beneficiaries in each class of beneficiary. But seemingly not. I am allowed maximum of ten individuals. I am principal acting trustee for two discretionary trusts. They are bog standard. All assets are UK and taxation typically payable. They were registered with hmrc in 1999, complete with registration numbers. Now I have to re-register as part of Tory government’s attack on trustees. (You sorted your LEI yet, then? For £115 + VAT??) Number of beneficiaries of trusts are currently eleven - no matter what box I tick, I either can have a maximum of ten individual beneficiaries OR I have to name a company. No companies currently involved but, because they are discretionary trusts, companies and trusts could be involved in future. I have no problem naming beneficiaries as they are born, in principal (eg as part of a class of “remoter issue of settlor”), only I cannot because I already have ten named beneficiaries. (And how do I name the “absolute default” beneficiary which is a named charity? Do I tick charity box?? Even though no charity is currently a beneficiary?)
I have seen advice for trustees to put year of death of settlor in “passport number” box and date of death of settlor in “passport expiry date” box. Ken Dodd would have a field day. And don’t forget I have to put a telephone number of settlor who died ten years ago.
Form is not fit for purpose. hmrc do not answer my emails. hmrc will not speak to me. Yet I will be fined if I do not fill in form. Any ideas of how to get more than ten individuals on the form (the people who have benefitted over the past seventeen years) as well as leaving space for adding say five beneficiaries not yet born?


(nfox) #34

so far, I have managed to register one Trust, and had two in the system pending submission before I received the Server Error (500) - then I had a further message which simply stated 'Service Unavailable until 17th October - it was the 23rd! Then on the 25th October, I was prompted to email, again!, to ‘request access to Agents Services’, which although I was loathed to do, I did - still heard nothing back from HMRC. I have now had 8 messages from HMRC Digital Services, as I logged the original error messages and re-prompt, who advised that this ‘ticket’ had been assigned to a colleague (each time a different person on the team emails to say they have the ticket and then again to say they have had to assign it to yet another colleague). I am still unable to log in, neither are my colleagues here who emailed over a fortnight ago. The last message from HMRC Digital Team, this morning, said that ‘If you are worried about meeting the deadline date, please contact the Trusts team on 0300 123 1072’. I did call, the operator said that the deadline of 5th December was ‘already a concession’ and if I had further concerns, to approach forum’s available to me…

Nicola Fox

(Katherine Webber) #35

TMBrian, I gather that you are required to notify on paper where you have more parties than fit within the online register form.
We have so far managed to register a few, but have a few issues: -

  1. We have received a letter confirming a UTR. The letter is addressed to “suffolk”, not the name of the estate which I know was included when completing the forms but was bumped out before the submission. Called HMRC and they can only see the name of lead exec, so the other info that is captured is not available to anyone.
  2. Once an entry is submitted, there is nothing in the system to show for it? I’m not sure how we can see whether we have completed one and then, in due course amend/confirm the details annually as required, as there is no client list built in.
  3. Also currently getting the error message so totally stuck with the deadline ticking closer,…
    I agree the whole system is not fit for purpose!

Katherine Webber
Birketts LLP

(Brian Smith) #36

Cracking reply, thank you Katherine Webber. I will keep Birketts name in mind if I ever need professional help - I know Birketts are genuine and competent because I have come across the name a few times, and never in a bad way.

So many people seem to have come to same conclusion as both of us, from either a personal or professional point of view. I am currently writing a letter of complaint to hmrc. I have form in complaining.

I today managed to get through to hmrc helpline where, for once, I got some help and Gareth stated I should do what you state. So you fill in an online form and then fill the bits you cannot fit in on a piece of paper to your own design. Excuse me? Have hmrc heard of Kafka? What should clearly have happened (as I hope all readers will agree) is that hmrc should have realised many, many problems, pulled form, reset the whole system and delayed for a year. If you don’t do this, Kafkaesque outcomes always result such as guidance form (full marks to CIOT for making hmrc official guidance readily available) saying you “can” fill in date of death in a passport expiry date box, and same guidance stating that telephone number for settlor not required whereas online form states it is required. Even for a deceased settlor!

I urge all professionals to complain. Your complaints may carry more weight than my amateur rants.

Form has been designed by someone who is obviously not a trustee. Although I am an unemployed amateur (with all the failings that brings) I do have extensive personal practical experience, knowledge and expertise in discretionary trusts. As well as asset management, tax avoidance, executorship and all the rest of it.

Main problem with the on-line form (that is requiring all beneficiaries, both capital and income, sometimes over decades) is that you can only fit ten individual beneficiaries in. Then you have to resort to paper and post, like Katherine says. So what happens the next year when another great grandchild of settlor is born and I decide (with my fellow trustees) to bung child £12k capital cash? Will online form (that has to be confirmed each year remember, even if there are no changes) accept more than ten beneficiaries after online form has been submitted? If not, will I have to write hmrc with details of a new beneficiary? Like Katherine says, how are you going to keep abreast of an online registration, as a trustee, if some of your additions are not even shown online? Whole situation is utterly impossible. Guidance is drivel. Does guidance tell me what to do if more than ten beneficiaries? No. Did hmrc tell me in four telephone calls? No. I have wasted days on this - it must be worse for you professionals with dozens of clients to register.

What a debacle. Form is insulting. Question and answer nature of guidance is insulting. System does not work - many small, ordinary, bog standard discretionary trusts will have more than ten beneficiaries. Many trustees will be frustrated - or indeed professional agents acting on behalf of their client trustees will be frustrated. Life is simple. Only action in such a circumstance is to delete the system and start again with a form designed by someone with experience of being a trustee.

Is whole exercise purely a revenue raising one, I wonder? After all many trustees will not realise their obligations. And hmrc have not informed them by flagging up on their hmrc SA account for trusts. It stinks.

And what is point of me having to tell hmrc (again) of what was transferred into trust

I blame hmrc commissioners for this debacle.

Kind regards to Katherine and all professionals who are struggling with this onerous, unacceptable, impossible, Kafkaesque online TRS. Good luck all.

Brian Smith

(sue.moore) #37

As you have discovered overseas agents cannot currently set up an agent services account. HMRC is providing a workaround for this. Any overseas agent without a UTR should contact the trusts helpline (+44 300 123 1072) and request a data capture sheet to gather the information and send back to HMRC (this is only available to overseas agents).

Sue Moore,

(mandy.connolly) #38

Many thanks for your post Sue Moore. I have just come off the phone with HMRC’s trust’s helpline. The person I spoke to initially insisted there was no work around for non-UK agents but I persisted and was put through to someone else who is acting as the liaison between the trust’s helpline and the trust register. He was very helpful and confirmed that we could register our trusts in paper format on a “data capture” sheet. He advised we may have to add pages as required (extra beneficiaries etc.) and we would also need to add a sheet with our agents details (Agent ID, name and address). He is sending me the form by post which comes with a 64-8 and it is to be submitted to the Nottingham Office at Ferrers House. He did note this is option is only available to non-UK agents who don’t have a UK office. If there is a UK office any registrations should be done online through that office.

Mandy Connolly

LTS Tax Limited

(Andrew M Mortimer) #39

Since I am now retired and only provide consultancy advice thankfully I do
have to deal with the trust registration compliance administration matters
that many of you are suffering.

I have however been following the posts and agree with Brian Smith’s
comments and would urge those suffering to lodge strong complaints.

Might I would suggest consideration is given to complaining not just to
HMRC Trusts but also to others e.g. :

· Your constituency MP – In particular if your constituency is Theresa
May’s i.e. Maidenhead.

· The Adjudicator’s Office who have responsibility[] for HMRC.

· HM Revenue & Customs Head Office - 100 Parliament Street, London,

· Minister responsible for HMRC - Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary
to the Treasury

 NB His constituency is Central Devon

Andrew M Mortimer

PS I would also mention that having recently had endless problems with
both my and my wife’s personal tax it appears that the personal tax account
computer system being introduced is most likely currently also faulty/not
fit for purpose and despite HMRC’s suggestion that you do so I would
strongly advise against voluntarily registering.

Would you believe that during a phone call today to HMRC I was told their
records of PAYE codes actually issued by them to and being operated by
employers etc., are correct and they are aware that they can often differ
from those being shown in personal tax accounts as having been issued!


I have just gone through my first offshore trust registration as UK tax agent of the Offshore trustees.

If you have the trust deed then you will have 70% of the info that is required in the form.

For settlor’s details, it does not give us the option to say if they are alive or deceased.
And for their NI or passport details, we need to put something down otherwise the form does not allow me to go ahead.

But for beneficiaries NI or passport details, i could select NO and proceed. This could potentially mean that we could go ahead and submit the form without this info and maybe add the correct info later.

Regarding MONEY assets settled into the trust.
It does not specify if CURRENT monetary value of the trust is needed, or just ‘small’ initial settled fund.
Usually more funds are added later.
The form not very user-friendly on this point.

Sameera Nathoo


Its unbelievable the amount of time needed to register, even simple trusts!
Two - three hours at least, even with ALL the info at hand! - a few more if info is missing

Sameera Nathoo