IMPORTANT UPDATE to the Trust Registration Service (TRS) – action needed by Trustees to avoid a penalty

As part of the UK’s implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has extended the requirement for trust registration to non-taxable UK trusts and some non-UK trusts. You should now register all UK trusts and some non-UK trusts on HMRC’s Trust Registration Service (TRS), unless the trust is specifically excluded due to its characteristics. Failure to register, can result in a penalty.

You must register:

  • non-taxable trusts in existence on or after 6 October 2020 by the 1 September 2022 (even if the trust has ceased before 1 September 2022, in which case it would need to be registered and immediately de-registered).
  • non-taxable trusts created after 1 September 2022 within 90 days.
  • changes to the trust details and/or circumstances, within 90 days of the change.

NB this does not change the existing requirement to register any trust that incurs a tax liability.

Trusts that now require registration include:

  • Interest in possession trusts (also known as life interest trusts)- where the beneficiary has the right to all trust income or the right to exclusive enjoyment of trust assets. This includes the right to live undisturbed in a property owned by the trust.
  • Discretionary trusts, here the trustees have discretion to make decisions about how to use the capital and income of the trust.
  • Some trusts for the benefit of minors and 18-25 trusts. These are trusts where the beneficiaries have no right to the trust capital until they reach a specified age. (In certain circumstances some of these types of trusts may fall within the very limited specified exclusions).
  • Bare trusts, where assets are held in the name of a trustee. Under this type of trust the beneficiary has an immediate and absolute right to all of the capital and income of the trust. Contrary to what many people expect/assume, there is no specific exclusion from registration for bare trusts. A common arrangement caught be the TRS is where the legal title to a property is not registered in the name of all  the persons entitled to a share of the proceeds on sale- e.g. where a declaration of trust protects a third party’s interest.

This is not an exhaustive list- other types of trusts may also fall within the requirement for registration. For more examples, see

Further information

For more information on registrable and excluded trusts please see

More detailed technical information can also be found in the Trust Registration Service Manual at

If you think the obligation to register a trust affects you, and you would like assistance in the registration of the trust, please contact our Private Client team.

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