Trustee’s obligations under HMRC’s Trust Registration Service

The Trust Registration Service (TRS) is a UK government-mandated system that imposes certain obligations on trustees.

These obligations include:

  • Registering the trust on the TRS if it meets the registration requirements
  • Providing accurate and up-to-date information about the trust and its beneficiaries 
  • Promptly updating registered information 
  • Maintaining comprehensive records of the trust’s financial transactions 
  • Complying with anti-money laundering regulations 
  • Co-operating with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and thoroughly understanding their legal obligations

Non-compliance with these obligations may result in penalties or legal consequences for the trustees. 

Trustees of registered trusts have a responsibility to ensure that the information on the trust register remains correct and current. Any modifications to this information must be reported to the TRS within 90 days of the change, including details about beneficial owners, settlors, trustees, beneficiaries, and other individuals who have control over the trust. Additionally, changes related to the trust itself, such as UK tax liability or the acquisition of UK land or property, must also be notified.

If a trust that is required to be registered is not registered due to innocent oversight, there should be no penalty. However, if HMRC discovers an unregistered trust, they may send a letter to the trustees explaining the registration requirement and providing a timeframe to comply. If the trustees fail to register the trust within the given period, the lead trustee may be personally liable for a fine of up to £5,000, which cannot be paid from the trust’s assets.
If you are a trustee and would like advice on complying with your obligations under the Trust Registration Service, please contact us