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Trustee Responsibilities

Under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), Trustees of UK Trusts are required to maintain accurate records of Settlor(s) (i.e. the person who set up the Trust), Trustees, individual beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries of a Trust.  Trustees have a duty to record the following information:

  • Settlor(s) and Trustee(s):
    • Full name;
    • Date of birth;
    • Role in relation to the Trust; and
    •  one of the following:
      • National Insurance number or Unique Taxpayer Reference or, if not available;
      • Passport number or equivalent or, if not available;
      • Usual residential address.
  • Beneficiaries:
    • Full name
    • Date of birth; and
    • One of the following:
      • National  Insurance number or Unique Taxpayer Reference or, if not available;
      • Passport number or equivalent or, if not available;
      • Usual residential address.

Where beneficiaries are identified as a class (for example 'grandchildren'), without being identified by name in a Trust Deed or Letter of Wishes, Trustees can disclose a description of that class of beneficiaries rather than each individual beneficiary’s name and personal information.  However, where a beneficiary receives a benefit from the Trust in a relevant tax year, the name of the beneficiary and the above information must be disclosed.

  • Should the Trust have a Corporate Trustee or legal entity as a beneficial owner, Trustees must record the following:
    • Corporate name;
    • Unique Taxpayer Reference;
    • Registered office;
    • Legal form of the entity and the law by which it is governed;
    • Name of register of companies in which the company is registered and registration number; and
    • Role in relation to the Trust.

Where a Trust in a relevant tax year is liable to pay income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, stamp duty land tax, land and buildings transaction tax or stamp duty reserve tax, Trustees must disclose their records to HM Revenue & Customs.  Reporting is carried out using the online Trusts Registration Service.  The above information must be disclosed to HM Revenue & Customs plus the following:

  • Name of the Trust;
  • Date the Trust began;
  • Details of Trust assets (for example the address of any Trust property);
  • Tax residence of the Trust; and
  • Place where Trust is administered.

First registration of Trusts with tax liabilities was required by 5 March 2018.  If this deadline has been missed, HM Revenue & Customs will charge a fixed penalty to reflect the period of delay:

  • Registration made up to three months from the due date  –  £100 penalty
  • Registration made three to six months after the due date – £200 penalty
  • Registration more than six months late – either 5% of the tax liability or £300 penalty;whichever is the greater sum

Trustees are obligated to update HM Revenue & Customs on an annual basis.  This means they must disclose changes to the above information or confirm that they are not aware of any information having changed.  The annual update must be provided on or before 31 January after the tax year in which the change occurred. However, if the trust is not taxable in that period, the deadline is 31 January after the tax year in which the Trustees are again liable to tax.

The upshot of the above is that Trustees are obliged to keep accurate records of Trusts and to keep such information under review so as to ensure they do not miss tax liabilities and the necessary reporting requirements to HM Revenue & Customs.

Ashfords have a dedicated Trusts team who are able to assist Trustees with the review of Trusts in order to establish accurate records, register Trusts using the online Trusts Registration Service and report necessary information to HM Revenue & Customs when required.  Please contact Sue Knowles or Carol Gaskell for more information.

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