HMRC's latest Trusts and Estates newsletter contains some useful information. Here is our enhanced version.

Extension of the Trust Registration Service

  • Regulations bringing in an expansion to the Trust Registration Service (TRS) came into force on 6 October 2020.
    • This will require the registration of UK express trusts and non-UK express trusts in certain circumstances, regardless of tax consequence.
  • It is not yet possible to register non-taxpaying trusts on TRS. HMRC are currently in the development phase of extending TRS to include functionality to register non-taxable trusts.
  • HMRC are looking to speak to people who have or will be setting up a trust or are a trustee for a trust that is non-taxable.
  • HMRC will shortly be providing more information on GOV.UK about the extension of the TRS as a result of the Fifth anti-money laundering directive (5MLD).
    • This will include an overview of the new rules, links to relevant documents, detail of the types of trusts that will be required to register and information on what will be needed to complete the registration process or update the details of trusts that have already been registered.
  • HMRC are currently considering the most effective approaches for reaching unrepresented trustees to raise awareness of the new requirement to register express trusts.

See Trust Registration Service

Trust Registration microservice 

  • The Trust Registration microservice is fully functional for taxpaying trusts. It should be used to register, update details, declare 'no change' or close all types of taxpaying trusts and estates.
  • The original ‘iForm’ service has now been decommissioned and it is no longer possible to use this version of the service.

Changes to GOV.UK guidance for the Trust Registration Service

  • HMRC have made a number of changes to the GOV.UK pages on trust registration and managing the trust details, including step-by-step guidance on the agent authorisation process.
  • Further detail on trust and estate closures will be added shortly. 

When to apply for a grant of representation

  • To avoid delays in getting your grant of representation, make sure you do not apply too early.
  • HMRC is currently meeting its targets of:
    • Processing form IHT400s within 15 working days of receipt.
    • Issuing the form IHT421 within 15 working days of receiving the form IHT400 or payment of the tax due on delivery of the account, whichever is later.
  • You need to allow time for HMRC to process the IHT400 before applying for your grant. Doing this means that your IHT421 will be with HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and can be matched to your probate application shortly after you apply.
    • HMRC recommend that you allow 20 working days from the date you sent your IHT400 before applying for your grant.
    • If you apply for your grant too early HMCTS will not be able to match your application with the IHT421 and this will lead to delays in getting your grant.

Trusts and Estates Tax Return: Box 20.1

  • Box 20.1 on the SA900 should then be ticked to confirm that updated details have been provided or that it has been confirmed on the TRS that there have been no changes.
  • HMRC have now advised that automatic penalties will not be charged if Box 20.1 has not been ticked and the register not updated before the 31 January deadline.
  • HMRC will take a pragmatic approach to charging penalties, particularly where it is clear that trustees or agents have made every effort to meet their obligations.
  • Trustees and agents do not need to submit an amended return if they have updated the register, or made a ‘no change’ declaration after the original return was submitted and the only change to the information on the original return is a tick in Box 20.1.

Useful guides on this topic

UK Trusts
A guide to UK trusts and how they are taxed.

Non-resident trusts
This guide considers the UK tax issues related to non-resident trusts and the pitfalls to watch out for.

IHT: Estate planning checklist
This checklist covers some of the essential planning points that taxpayers should know when planning for their estate and Inheritance Tax.

External links

HMRC Trusts and Estates Newsletter: December 2020