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When a Trust Needs to be Registered

The process used for registering trusts in the United Kingdom depends on whether you will register as a trustee or as an agent for a client.

This help guide explains when you must register a trust with HM Revenue and Customs (including non-resident trusts), and when registration is not required.

Registering Your Trust with HMRC in the UK

You will need to register your trust with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) any time it becomes liable for (any):

Note: Another reason for having to register a trust with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to be able to claim tax relief.

Rules for Non-Resident Trusts

Also, you will need to register a non-resident trust any time it becomes liable for (either):

  • Tax on United Kingdom assets.
  • Tax on United Kingdom income.

Another section explains how to get professional advice about registering a trust (e.g. from a solicitor) or from a tax advisor.

Not all Trusts Need to be Registered

There are certain situations when you do not need to register a trust with HM Revenue and Customs, such as for bare trusts, or when it is a (any):

  • Charitable trust.
  • Constructive trust imposed by a court.
  • Resulting trust where assets return to the settlor (e.g. because the beneficiaries are no longer alive).
  • Statutory trust created through legislation.
  • Trust holding a pension scheme already registered with HM Revenue and Customs.
  • Trust with Income Tax payments less than £100 on interest.
  • Trust where only the beneficiary (or ‘settlor‘) needs to pay tax.

Important: You do not need to register the trust when filing information for Common Reporting Standard (CRS) purposes or under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Deadlines for Registering a Trust

Trusts Liable for CGT or Income Tax

The first time the trust becomes liable for Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax (CGT), the deadline for registration is the 5th of October in the following tax year.

But, the rules are different if the trust has been liable for either of the taxes on a previous occasion. In this case, the deadline is the 31st of January in the tax year after it became liable again.

Trusts Liable for Other Taxes

You must register your trust with HMRC no later than the 31st of January in the tax year following the year that it became liable for (any):

  • Inheritance Tax
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (or Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland)
  • Stamp Duty Reserve Tax

Important: It is not uncommon for more than one deadline to apply (e.g. liable for several different taxes). In this case, you would need to register your trust using the earlier deadline.

Related Tax Guides

Note: The process differs when making returns for someone who has died (e.g. registering the estate of someone who passed away).

When You Must Register Trusts in the United Kingdom