Trust Register - 2018 trust tax return (SA900) question 20

HMRC’s guidance on “Register your client’s trust” states that if Trust Register information changes, you must tell HMRC by 31 January of the tax year after either:
•the trust has been set up
•it starts to make income or chargeable gains, if this is later (a simplification of the UK taxes that are set out in regulation 45(14) of the legislation)

HMRC’s guidance to question 20 (from SA950) states:
You’ll need to update the Trust Register with details of all the trustees, personal representatives, beneficiaries, members of the class of beneficiaries, settlors, protectors, agents or additions to the people associated with the trust. If you’ve updated the Trust Register, or confirmed there are no changes, please tick in the box at Q20.1. You should ensure that the Trust Register is up to date and accurate at the same time as you complete the SA900.

It is not yet possible to update the Trust Register, as HMRC have not added that functionality to the website, and changes to the lead trustee have to be notified by post.
Has anyone received feedback from HMRC that 2018 tax returns will not be queried if submitted now with box 20.1 unticked, but with a white space note that the Trust Register will be updated or confirmation that there are no changes by 31 January 2019?

Carlton Collister
landtax llp

Why spend the time in trying to solve HMRC’s problems for them? If you have a trust where the register needs to be updated, write them a letter. Tick the box on the return, because you have updated the Register. You have no control over the Register being up to date and accurate, so you don’t have to do anything other than write in to update it.

Julian Cohen



The formulation of Question 20 in SA900 implies that trustees must have either given details of changes to the ‘people associated with the trust’ or confirmed that there have been no changes to the trust.

This seems to be based on regulation 45(9) of the Regulations (SI.2017/692). That says that trustees must notify HMRC if any of the information previously provided under Regulation 45(2) has changed, other than in relation to the value of the trust assets, OR confirm that they are not aware of any change to the information provided under Regulation 45(2) [but in this case without excluding changes to the value of trust assets], by 31 January next following a tax year in which the trustees are liable to pay any UK taxes [the six taxes mentioned in regulation 45(14).

Thus, if the people associated with the trust [trustees, beneficiaries, etc] have not changed but the value of the trust assets has - which one would think very likely - the trustees would seem to have no obligation under either part of Regulation 45(9).

If that is correct, most trustees need not worry too much about any notification.

Ray Magill

I have just been asked to be part of the review process for HMRCs ‘update the register’ system. Hopefully this will happen in the next couple of weeks and I can provide more information on when it is likely to be available.

Lucy Orrow
Lambert Chapman LLP

Thank you and good luck with this.
It would be good governance if HMRC could be more proactive in considering the issues created by delays in the implementation of the TRS and provide clear guidance.
I and many others would consider that HMRC have consistently fallen short in implementing TRS, and their taxpayer’s charter includes statements that have not been met such as:
We also want to make it as easy as we can for you to get things right.
We’ll help you understand what you have to do … We’ll deal with the information you give us quickly, efficiently, and keep any costs to you at a minimum.

HMRC should not be relying on the professionals to deal with, and bear the cost of, problems that could have pre-empted with forethought and clear guidance from HMRC once they realised that their system could not comply (in the required timeframe) with the legislative requirements.
We all understand that IT timeframes slip. However, HMRC should provide clear guidance that does not add to taxpayers costs of how to work around their system failure until it works.

Carlton Collister
landtax llp

1 Like

From we have:

"Updating the TRS

HMRC are implementing the TRS in a number of phases. Currently, it is not possible for lead trustees and their agents to update their registered information or to declare that there have not been any changes on the TRS. Updates on when this functionality may be available will be provided in future newsletters.

In the meantime, if you need to inform HMRC that the lead trustee or trust correspondence address has changed then please write to us at:

HM Revenue and Customs

There is a specific question (number 20) on the SA900 trust tax return asking if the TRS has been updated. For now, please submit completed SA900 forms without answering Question 20 and leave the tick box blank. You will not be penalised for not answering Question 20. Our apologies for any confusion this may cause."

Roger Phillips