Keeping your trust’s details up to date on the Trust Register
It is important that trustees ensure that the details of their trust(s) held on the Trust Register are regularly reviewed and kept up to date. Any changes to the registered details must be updated within 90 days of the date of the change to avoid potential enforcement action by HMRC which could, potentially, result in the trustees being fined up to £5,000 per offence. Our previous bog covers HMRC’s ability to levy fines in more detail.
Changing details on the Trust Register
Click on this link to change details held on the Trust Register. To log in, you will need the trust’s unique government gateway user ID and the password. You may also be required to enter an access code and/ or provide some details on one or two individuals involved with the trust (typically, their name and date of birth and National Insurance number or passport number (for the lead trustee).
How to receive access codes
This link allows trustees to change the ways that access codes are received – the process for doing this is described in more detail in our blog on 2 factor authentication that has now been added to government gateway accounts. We would recommend that each trustee is able to receive access codes using at least 2 different methods so, for example, access can be maintained if, say, a mobile phone number is changed..
How will HMRC know if details are not up to date?
From 1 September 2022, if trustees are looking to establish a business relationship with an ‘obliged entity’ (also known as a UK Relevant Person), the obliged entity is required to ask for proof of the trust’s registration (or its exemption from registration) on the Trust Registration Service (TRS). We are aware that some obliged entities have extended this requirement for proof of registration to trustees with whom they have an existing business relationship.
Obliged entities include financial institutions, such as banks, building societies, insurance companies and investment providers, accountants, solicitors, tax advisers and other intermediaries.
If we registered the trust on behalf of the trustees, we provided a copy of the trust’s proof of registration. This is a digitally signed pdf document that can be downloaded or printed from the Trust Register.
HMRC guidance to obliged entities, which was updated on 17 November 2022 in the TRS Manual, requires the obliged entity to identify any discrepancies, including a trust requiring registration that has not been registered or a trust that has been registered but wrong or incomplete information is held on the Trust Register.
Some minor discrepancies may be determined to be non-material and the obliged entity does not need to take any further action. Such minor discrepancies may include a misspelt name (such as Jon Smith instead of John Smith), missing or misspelt middle names or common abbreviations (such as St. instead of Street or Co. instead of Company.
Material discrepancies include:
- A trust requiring registration that has not been registered on the TRS
- Missing information on a beneficial owner (including a settlor, trustee, beneficiary or protector), for example, their nationality, on the proof of registration document
- Beneficial owners who have not been recorded in the trust’s registration
- A difference in the information held on the trust register against information already held by the obliged entity (for example, different dates of birth, country of residence, address, email address or phone number (where relevant) etc)
- Other discrepancies that mean that the identity, or nature of control, of beneficial owners cannot be reasonably discerned.
What happens if a material discrepancy is identified?
The obliged entity may decide to raise any identified material discrepancies with the trustees and to give them an opportunity to resolve the situation by, for example, registering the trust (if not previously registered) or updating or correcting the information held on the Trust Register. The trustees can then provide the obliged entity with an updated proof of registration document.
The obliged entity is required to submit a ‘discrepancy report’ to HMRC if a material discrepancy(ies) is identified unless it has been raised with the trustees and the trustees have taken action to fully resolve the discrepancy(ies). HMRC will then investigate the reported discrepancy(ies) and take any action that they feel is appropriate, which could enforcement action.
Trustees need to be aware that they are personally liable (and not the trust) for any fines or penalties that may be levied by HMRC as a failure to maintain the information held on the Trust Register as accurate and up to date is seen as a breach of the trustees’ duties and responsibilities.
Can I get help with registering a trust or updating information?
Trustee Support Services can assist trustees with registering a trust or updating the trust’s information held on the Trust Register. Our fee for trust registration is currently £200 + VAT (£240 including VAT) per trust. We have tried to keep the process for registering a trust through us as simple as possible.
Our fee for updating or amending information held on the Trust Register will be based on the time spent in making the changes – we are happy to provide a quote in advance. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07885 296789.
How else can Trustee Support Services help me?
We can provide a range of services to trustees and their advisers, including reports on particular aspects of a trust and drafting deeds and other documents, for example to add and/ or remove trustees to a trust or to remove a beneficiary etc. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements – if we are not able to help you, we might just know someone else who can!