More TRS questions

Trust A owns a rental property, so registered on the TRS via 4MLD.

The trustees are George, Susan and Debbie

The legal title to the land is in the names of George and Susan for the trustees.

The beneficiaries are George’s and Susan’s children.

Question: does the bare trust by which G and S hold the property in trust for the trustees have to be registered?

I can’t help but think yes.

But that seems totally illogical.

What do you think?

Are George and Susan holding on trust for the trustees, or merely acting as nominees for the trustees?

If merely nominees, I cannot see that would be registrable on TRS. If it were, I would not like to think of the number of other scenarios where registration would be required (e.g. investment managers holding a portfolio as nominee for an individual).

Paul Saunders

Independent Trust Consultant

I see only one trust here. G and S hold on trust for the beneficiaries not for themselves and D. It is not clear why D is not on the legal title, as there would be fewer than 4. One would generally expect all trustees to own the legal title but it is not essential (and may be a risk for the “missing” trustee in some circumstances).

If the trustees are receiving rent it will be a taxable trust and apparently must register also as a non-taxable trust. HMRC do not actually say that but it seems implicit in TRSM25040. To register as both at the same time (as opposed to sequentially) seems counter-intuitive. Reg 45(1) and (2) seem to require a taxable trust to provide all the information (and more) that a non-taxable trust must provide and it seems plainly wrong to require a registration under Reg45ZA which simply does not apply to taxable trusts.

Perhaps TRSM25040 is merely contrasting the different information that each trust is to provide. There is a difference in the information required about individuals in Reg 45(6) and Reg45ZA (3)(a). The latter also prescribes country of residence, nationality, and nature and extent of beneficial interest. It also says that it is not necessary to provide information already provided when the trust was a taxable trust, so it is envisaged that a trust may be an ex-taxable trust and be required to register as non-taxable. If it is still a taxable trust surely that excludes concurrent registration as non-taxable. A non-taxable trust may become taxable and guidance on “Manage your trust’s details” has sections on “closing” it and changing its status to taxable, which could be clearer. If a trust has not been registered yet at all but has a tax liability for the current or previous tax year it would seem that only registering it as taxable is the correct course of action and that the deadlines in Reg 45(3) apply depending on when the trust was set up.

Jack Harper

TRSM25040 states:

As set out at TRSM20000, a trust may fulfil the registration requirements as both a registrable taxable trust and a registrable express trust. There are different information and data sharing requirements for when a trust meets either or both of these definitions.


The Roseacre Family Trust is a discretionary trust which manages various investments on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust. The trust has a liability to income tax on these investments.

As a UK discretionary trust, the trust fulfils the registration requirements as a registrable express trust. The trust also fulfils the requirements to register as a taxable trust on account of its UK tax liabilities”.

I’m a little unclear as to how a UK express trust “may fulfil the registration requirements as both a registrable taxable trust and a registrable express trust” at the same time.

Reg 45 provides the information requirements where a UK express trust qualifies as a taxable relevant trust. Reg 45ZA provides the information requirements for “type A” trusts (other than taxable relevant trusts). This seems to suggest that the two Regs are mutually exclusive?

A type A trust (other than taxable relevant) can presumably subsequently qualify as a taxable relevant trust and a taxable relevant trust may cease to be such (then qualifying as a type A trust (other than taxable relevant).

Malcolm Finney

I agree the wording is a bit inept. A registered non-taxable trust can become taxable and then has to provide more data e.g. initial asset value. It then can’t be inspected by a third party. HMRC seem to have invented the non-statutory procedure of “closing” a non-taxable trust. Does a “closed” trust retain its exposure to third parties? Its historic details stay on the register do they not?

A taxable trust can become non-taxable but does not seem to need to be “closed” or have to re-register as non-taxable but HMRC still have to provide a workaround for its retaining its UTR and then needing it again when it incurs a tax liability. It seems it is never exposed to third party scrutiny.

Lewis Carroll would have been proud of all this.

Jack Harper

If my conclusion is correct that the two sections are mutually exclusive (ie. that at any point in time a trust cannot fall within. s45 and s45ZA) then a taxable relevant trust on ceasing to be such may fall within s 45ZA and thus require re-registration would it not?

Malcolm Finney