TRS Authorising an agent

On July 19 I posed 6 questions some of which have since been partially or fully answered either on here or by piecemeal additional HMRC guidance. I am still puzzled by what “claiming a trust” means and precisely what a lead trustee has to do to authorise an agent and then what the agent has to do, including now “proof of registration”. As there must be contributors on here that have been authorised could someone please explain it to me? I still find the instructions in “Manage your trust’s details” confusing e.g. " enter the trust’s UTR to get a request authorisation link to share with your client". Do they mean UTR or URN and if so why not say so?

Jack Harper


A trustee “claims” a trust by having a government gateway account set up for that purpose (if they are trustee for more than one trust they need separate gateway accounts for each) - see blue highlighted section below.

Once claimed, the agent signs into their agent services account and uses the request authorisation function. The agent has to provide specific information about the trust and lead trustee for HMRC to identify the trust for which agent authorisation is being requested. Then a link will be generated that the agent sends by e-mail to the trustee, who should click on that link and then log in using the discrete trustee credentials for that trust. The trustee will then be presented with a screen that asks if they want to authorise said agent and they click yes (or no). Once they click yes the trustee will get an onscreen message confirming they have authorised the agent. The agent will get a confirmation e-mail from HMRC and the trust will appear on their Agent Services Account (ASA) list of trust register authorised clients. This is a separate list from those trust clients they are authorised to do tax returns for or to do UK property disposals for [simplification at its best!]. The agent is then able to maintain the trust going forward.
BTW an agent can register a trust without having been authorised, but they are then unable to access or maintain any of the information they have supplied to HMRC until said trust has been claimed by a trustee and the agent has been authorised. For non-taxable trusts where there are no changes, this may not be a huge problem, but for taxable trusts where there is a question on the tax return to confirm the register has been updated/confirmed each year, the trust will need to be claimed.
Hope that is relatively clear and has not provided further confusion.


Hi Maxine - where is the list of clients held please? I’ve been working on the agent services account a long time and never found it! if you know its secret hiding place, i’d be really grateful.
Lucy Orrow

when you log into your ASA in the top right hand corner - see in yellow below - is a “manage account” option, click on that

Then click on the “manage user access” option - see below

then click on the “clients” tab and the “register & maintain a trust” dropdown option, then the green filter button and a list of your authorised client UTRs will appear

Hope that’s clear, but if not, let me know


1 Like

Maxine, that is so helpful. Thank you.

I am told that to get the proof of registration, you need to answer “no” to “do you want to view this trust’s last declaration” and you are then led to it. Absolutely obvious when you think about it!


"Update from GOV.​UK for:

Manage your trust’s details


  • | - |

Time updated:
1:08 pm, 9 August 2022"

We are now told: “Proof of registration
If you need proof of registration for a third party or relevant person, you can download a PDF output from the service. The information will not include all details submitted as part of the registration but can be used to support due diligence checks.”
Absolutely no indication here of why a lay trustee might need it. In today’s update on Registering a trust as a trustee we are told only “You can get a PDF copy of the report to show proof of registration.” And the same in the Agent version.
In none of this guidance is a trustee warned that a “relevant person” cannot act without this pdf. Nor in TRSM70030 (bedtime reading for lay trustees) is this stated, even from the point of view of the relevant person who, one imagines, is just supposed by HMRC to know.
HMRC Charter:
"Making things easy

We’ll provide services that are designed around what you need to do, and are accessible, easy and quick to use, minimising the cost to you."
Jack Harper

1 Like

That’s fantastic - thanks Maxine.

Digital by Default or just plain old default

“HM Revenue & Customs
Sorry, the Trust Registration service is unavailable
Telephone advisers will not be able to see or update your details but can answer general questions.”
No notification of service unavailablity for today, planned or otherwise. The system’s overall ability to even manage the time-honoured activity in a brewery must be called into question.

Jack Harper

I have a lead trustee who has received the letter from HMRC containing details of the registration. This LT does not use the internet. At all. So…would a 64-8 with a letter to HMRC be sufficient to authorise me to update trust details? Please help!

You have to be authorised by the TRS online procedure. The 64-8 procedure is entirely separate. It involves the lead trustee logging in (GG, PW, and URN) and then allowing you to login with your agent’s login details. I’ve done it myself and I’m person non grata at the Lubyanka in the Strand. If LT does not use the internet how did the trust become registered in the first place ? HMRC are unlikely to just ignore a letter as they can be publicly shamed for refusing to do so thus seeming to enforce Putinacious Total Digital Hegemony. Similarly if they take too long to reply; but they can get away with a long turnaround time before embarrassment looms. Can you not assist the LT in person by using the online system? Apart from IT glitches, the advantage is that it is quick and you know it’s done instantly. Sadly such extra assistance adds to cost unless you are an unregistered charity like a Legal Aid solicitor.

Jack Harper

Thanks Jack. I will meet the trustee and we can go through the process together- seems the best/only way.