With the deadline for online registration of existing trusts approaching, HMRC have provided further clarification in respect of trusts created by wills and deeds of variation, corrections to online registrations and trusts paying stamp duty.

The online trust registration service was launched in 2017 and after several extensions the deadline for registering existing trusts is now fixed as 5 March 2018. Following discussions with the CIOT and ATT HMRC have now confirmed who should be listed as settlor where the trust is established by a will and where there is a Deed of variation. 

  • For trusts created by a will the deceased (not the executors) is classed as the settlor and should be reported as such
  • For trusts created by a deed of variation it is more complicated:
    • Each person who took less under the deed than they would have done under the will is a settlor of the amount given up and should be disclosed on the register as a settlor.
    • Where property which would have been settled in trust on the death of the deceased is now comprised in this settlement the deceased should also be included on the register as a settlor

With respect to corrections to the register, as this cannot yet be done online HMRC have said that where an agent or trustee realises that the information submitted via the TRS is incorrect, and the error has been made in good faith, then:

  • A note should be made on the files of the amendment that needs to be made and the circumstances surrounding the error.
  • Do not write to HMRC, instead wait for next release of the TRS is available to make amendments.
  • The exception is if a change is required to the lead trustee’s details; these should be notified to HMRC by letter to Trusts, HM Revenue & Customs, BX9 1EL.

Finally, where trustees have a liability to stamp duty (because shares have been transferred to the trust for consideration) but not to any other taxes, this does trigger a requirement to register with the TRS.

HMRC have not yet announced details of penalties for late registrations.


UK trusts
Deed of variation 

Trusts & Estates: Ten-year charge reporting requirements



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