Trust Registration Service New Changes

Has anyone come across any webinars or valuable clear cut guidance on this yet?

Any information regarding the new changes would be useful.

Update to the Trust Register | Lambert Chapman (lambert-chapman.co.uk)
Dear LAnne, I have prepared a fact sheet on this matter recently. Hopefully link works - or if not, look at ‘firm news’ on our company website. Interestingly, the rules have already changed in that the 30 day reporting window, has now increased to 90 days - for any new trusts or changes to trusts.

If you need anything further, just let me know.

Lucy Orrow
Lambert Chapman.

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Lucy how do you think this will affect lay clients who dont see a solicitor to administer the estate which unknowingly may contain a trust and therefore dont know the nature of a trust or the registration requirements?

I guess the question is, what happens now…I am hopeful that where new wills are drawn up the solicitor mentions to their clients about the reporting requirements in the future. For existing wills I guess it’s more difficult.

HMRC have advised that where they become aware of a trust, they will write to the trustees reminding them of their obligations. For subsequent failures a £100 fine will be levied. Deliberate failures will have harsher penalties (yet to be announced).

Lucy

Thanks for the links above. We have a couple of situations that we are unsure about on the TRS. I have sought HMRC view on the agent forum, but interested in the members on here views on the following:

  1. I note that it was announced that accounts held by parents for minor children will now be exempt.

What is the position when the child becomes 18 but the parent still holds the account? I assume this the turns into a bare trust situation and so should be registered.

  1. We also often have the position where a trust will cease but minimal funds will be retained to cover final fees, etc. These are usually minimal amounts and held as nominee for the beneficiaries.
    Are the views on this that they will also require registering as arguably a bare trust? So the position would be advise HMRC the trust ended on the TRS, set up a new TRS for the nominee account (and have to go through the whole claiming trust aspects again), 6 months later have to go on TRS and close this new trust down.

Thanks.

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Great question. Further clarification would be useful.

Are the forums available for legal advisors to join?

The second question is one which I have tried without much success to get some clarification on.

I have two trusts that were in existence in October last year, both were Qualifying Life Interest Trusts holding only the property in which the LT Resided and both have ceased earlier this year as a result of the death of the LT. In Trust A the two trustees (the children of the LT) are also the remaindermen sharing equally. In Trust B the two trustees are two of four of the children and two of the four remaindermen.

The position I have come to is that for Trust A the Trust needs to be reported for the period until the death of the LT but not the period after as there is no difference in the legal and beneficial owners.

In Trust B however there continues to be a difference so would need to be reported? Or for trust B do we report on the basis of the position in October, update the register for the change on the death of the LT and finally close the register once the property has been sold and the funds paid away?

Any views?

Could you let me know the source?

Malcolm Finney

Malcolm

Child bank accounts

Amendments will be made to the legislation to ensure that trusts required in order to open a bank account for a child are excluded from registration."

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Thank you Nick; appreciated.

Why does HMRC deem it appropriate to have friendly chats with the various professional organisations notifying them of changes which are not added to their website at the same time or in a timely manner for others to to be aware of such changes?

How is their approach an acceptable practice?

What is the purpose of their website if not updated for all to see at the same time?

Would it be wise to act on statements made to these organisations? If statements made to such organisations never make it to HMRC website or in some other release then what?

Malcolm Finney

Fascinating. Legislation by Proclamation, bypassing Parliament.

Also the 2020 Regs, inserting Art 45ZA in the 2017 Regs, provided for a finite commencement date of 10 March 2022: Art 1(4). Has anyone found out how HMRC acquired the power to defer the commencement of registration to 1 September 2022? Any substantive law involved here? Or just Ipse Dixit?

Jack Harper

There’s worse!

Can anyone refer me to a public announcement on registration penalties for non-taxable trusts as opposed to this being privately vouchsafed to Faceless Committees of the Great and the Good, upright and worthy though they may be.

Here is all I can find: " The trustees may have to pay a penalty if you do not register the trust before the registration deadline" or " You may have to pay a penalty if you do not register the trust before the registration deadline". Jolly informative! A Light Touch?

I could say the same for taxable trusts too as I have only been able to find a similar divine revelation of March 2018 by searching Professor Google and nothing at all on Gov.uk, though I did not read all 7500 hits.

Nothing on penalties in “Trusts and Estates: detailed information” of course, not even a link: Personal tax: Trusts and Estates - detailed information - GOV.UK

A call to HMRC confirms that there is currently no further official guidance about penalties. Not even confirmation of the clandestine communications referred to above.

Jack Harper

Dear Jack,
This is the best I can offer. There has been no formal update since March 2018 and I have not been made aware of any penalties being issued.
Trust Registration Service Penalties | Tax Adviser (taxadvisermagazine.com)
Trust Registration Service – Penalty update | The Association of Taxation Technicians (att.org.uk)

Lucy Orrow

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This whole area is, and has been for many years, a bugbear of mine.

Many years ago I asked HMRC how, as a non-professionally qualified tax person, I was expected to compete with those qualified advisor brethren (even worse, those dually qualified brethren !) who seemed to be as, Jack puts it, parties to clandestine communications relating to important tax matters of which I was ignorant.

If my recollection is correct, the response was to ask one of these fortunate qualified persons to keep me informed or perhaps I could qualify myself !

Some 40 or so years later I’m not sure much has changed, in fact it’s now arguable worse.

Malcolm Finney

Regarding any penalty updates as promised, asfar as my own research is concerned I have been unable to find anything post March 2018.

Malcolm Finney

I asked HMRC (via their forum) about accounts for minors and they have still not answered me, despite the announcement by STEP

I also asked about children’s accounts when they become 18 and the parent still holds. And the trust funds held while the admin of ending a trust is sorted out.

When I get a reply from HMRC I will update on here.

Although in practice I can’t see HMRC ever picking up on these types of accounts/situations.

Lucy

They cannot have been referring to non-taxable trusts at that date. The statutory instrument, however, confers ample (I would say disgracefully wide) latitude to exact penalties from any type of registrable trust: “such amount as [they] consider reasonable”. (Subject to an appeal and a JR challenge if the tariff was set at a blatantly unreasonable level). But this odd persistent reluctance to publicise the penalty amounts in public guidance may affect their ability to collect. Perhaps they will not attempt to do so until after they have given a proper public warning, so being guilty only of hubris and institutional cynical contempt for those they serve.

Jack Harper

HMRC would no doubt prefer not to receive a slew of applications for registration from low key trusts they gave no thought to at the design stage and/or do not expect to create the mischief they are aiming at.

They have the luxury of shifting the burden, risk and cost of the decision to the trustees. They cannot however entirely stem the flow of clarification requests except by publicly announcing categories of exclusions, some with doubtful legal foundation and others as inscrutable or ambiguous as a few set out in the law itself.

No one can stop trustees seeking clarification directly but there is no guarantee of a satisfactory response. A clear specific confirmation of entitlement to exclusion from a person with appropriate authority at HMRC would surely be enough to deflect any later penalty try-on, although not registration itself if that was lawfully mandated and later pursued by them nonetheless.

A veritable tour de force of a system.

Jack Harper