HMRC plans to expand the online features on the Trust Registration Service where the majority of trusts and estates have to be listed, following criticism of the system, which is slow to navigate and offers limited services
The improvements will be rolled out later this year and HMRC confirmed it ‘will develop and deliver various functions to enable changes to be made in the Trust Register. Acting on a significant amount of user feedback, firstly we will replace the existing iForm which allows users to register a Trust or Estate. This will make the journey quicker and easier’.
The existing limited functionality will be improved, allowing tax advisers to view the data submitted at registration; complete a declaration when there is no change to registered data; make changes to registered data to keep the register up to date; and close a Trust or Estate.
Initially these changes will be tested with a small number of users and will only be open to all users following successful testing.
Tax advisers and accountants need to register a trust if the trust has been intentionally created (an ‘express trust’); to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and for tax compliance reasons, including liability for capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax, among others.
If the trustees are not resident in the UK (‘non-UK resident trusts’), the trust must be registered if any trustees have to pay tax on income coming from the UK or on UK assets.
If a trust has a tax liability which is covered by a specific tax relief, registration is required as the claim will have to be made through the annual self assessment return.
To take part in the user testing, contact the HMRC service team