HMRC’s Trust Registration Service – How to manage your Trust

HMRC’s Trust Registration Service – How to manage your Trust

Once your trust has been registered with the Trust Registration Service (TRS), it will need to be claimed in order for its registration and tax details to be managed. Read our guide below to find out how to claim and manage your Trust.

Who can claim and manage a Trust?

Only the lead trustee named in the registration can claim the registered trust on the TRS. The lead trustee is the person that acts as the direct contact for the TRS about the Trust.

How do I claim a Trust?

The lead trustee will have been sent a letter from HMRC in the post after the Trust had been successfully registered on the TRS. This letter contains a Unique Reference Number (URN) (or a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) if the trust is taxable) that is used to identify the registered Trust.

It is incredibly important for this number to be kept safe as it is currently the only way to identify the Trust in correspondence with HMRC. For this reason, it would be a good idea to provide your solicitor with a copy of this letter or ask them to keep a record of the URN/UTR in case this is misplaced in the future.

In order to claim a Trust, you will need your full name, email address, telephone number and the Trust’s URN/UTR to hand.

Step 1:

Search ‘Manage Your Trust’s Details’ in your chosen search engine, e.g. Google. This will provide you with a search result that, once clicked, takes you to a website. Scroll down to the bottom of this website page, then click on the green ‘Start Now’ button.

Step 2:

You will then be taken to a Government Gateway login page. To claim and maintain the Trust, you need to have a Government Gateway Account. Click on the link below the text boxes that states ‘Create Sign In Details’.

After clicking this link, you will be prompted to provide your email address. Once you have entered this, a security code (‘access code’) will be emailed to your chosen email address. This code will be unusable after 30 minutes, so you will need to locate and submit it in this timeframe.

Step 3:

When you have provided the access code, you will be asked to give your full name and create a password. Once you have submitted this, the website will generate a Government Gateway ID which will be 12 numbers e.g. 11 22 33 44 55 66. Please keep your Government Gateway ID and your chosen password safe, as this will be the login details you use to claim the Trust and maintain it in the future.

Step 4:

Click 'continue' after your Government Gateway ID has been generated. You will be asked what type of account you need. Please choose an ‘Organisation’ account. This is because you are acting on behalf of a Trust.

If you then click the continue button, you will be asked to set up additional security and required to provide another security code. You may choose whichever method is easiest to have the code communicated to you – this is usually by text or phone call, meaning you will need to provide your telephone number.

Step 5:

After you have submitted the security code when prompted, you will be asked whether the Trust has been registered. As the Trust has been registered, please choose the ‘yes’ option. You will then need to submit the URN/UTR which can be found on the letter from HMRC notifying you that the Trust has been registered. The URN is made up of 15 letters and numbers, e.g. ABTRUST12345678. A UTR is made up of 10 numbers, e.g. 1234567890.

Step 6:

Once you have entered the URN/UTR and clicked the continue button, you will be asked if an agent is managing the Trust’s online register for the Trustees. Please select ‘yes’. You will be asked to input your details as the lead trustee. This will be your full name, date of birth and National Insurance Number.

You may then be asked to provide details of another person associated with the Trust – either another trustee, a beneficiary, or a Settlor. This will most likely be their full name, date of birth and possibly their National Insurance Number.

This information must be identical to the details submitted on registration of the Trust. If you submit incorrect information 3 times, you will be locked out from continuing this process for 30 minutes.

Please check your answers and when you are happy, press the ‘continue’ button.

You have now successfully claimed the Trust. It will be a good idea to let your solicitor know that you have claimed the Trust and provide them with the URN/UTR in case you ever misplace this.

Updating a Trust on the TRS

If any details in relation to the Trust change, you will need to update these details on the Trust’s register (on the TRS). You will need to relocate the webpage again and login using your Gateway ID and password as created above. You will be asked to provide a security code which will be sent to your chosen telephone number – you can change this number should you wish by calling the Trust Registration Service via HMRC on 0300 1231072.

Please then click ‘continue’ to start maintaining the Trust. If you do not wish to view the Trust’s last declaration, please select ‘no’. You will then be shown various options which you can choose to manage the Trust. If you would like to make changes to the Trust Register, please choose ‘Make changes to the Trust and declare’. You can then continue to amend any details necessary.

You must update your Trust’s details on the TRS within 90 days of there being any changes.

Annual Tax Obligations as the Lead Trustee

Only if the Trust is liable to tax in any tax year (you have a UTR), you will need to make an annual declaration on the Trust’s register that the details of anyone associated with the trust are up to date.

You can do this by logging in as described above and providing a security access code in the same manner. Please then click ‘continue’ to start maintaining the Trust, and then select the option that says ‘yes’ as an agent is managing the Trust’s online register for the Trustees.

Before you can make any declaration, you must provide details of yourself as the lead Trustee which will be your last name, date of birth and National Insurance Number. You must then answer security questions about a person associated with the Trust – this can be the settlors, trustees or beneficiaries. You will need their full name, date of birth and national insurance number.

You will not be permitted to proceed unless the information you provide matches the details currently held on the Trust’s register. After you have successfully answered the security questions, please then click the highlighted text that states, ‘continue into the service’.

You will need to press ‘continue’ and then select the option that states you are maintaining as ‘express Trust’. You will be asked whether a Schedule 3a exemption applies to the Trust. Unless the Trust was registered as a ‘Will Trust’ (known from the name of the Trust), please click ‘no’.

As you select ‘continue’, you should make a declaration in your name stating you will update the register should any details relating to it change. After submitting this declaration, you can click on the banner at the top of the screen: ‘Register and Maintain a Trust’. This will take you back to the main options so you can ‘Start Maintaining the Trust’.

To make changes to the Trust’s details or make no changes to them, please select the relevant option provided. You may then answer questions about the Trust’s details and update them where necessary, after which you can submit a declaration in your name that this information on the Trust is up to date.

An annual declaration must be submitted every year by the 31st of January, and any deliberate failure to keep the Trust’s register updated can incur a penalty of up to £5,000. This declaration must be submitted even if there are no changes to these details.

If the Trust is liable to Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax, the lead Trustee will also need to confirm that they have updated the Trust’s register and that there are no changes to the Trust itself. They can do this by submitting the ‘Self Assessment: Trust and Estate Tax Return (Form SA900)’ located on the website.

How do I close a Trust?

Once the assets in a Trust have been distributed to the Beneficiaries and the Trustees no longer hold any assets on Trust, it will need to be deregistered on the TRS. There are two ways to do this, the first being to log on to your Government Gateway account and follow the steps to close the Trust yourself.

The alternative is to inform your solicitor that you have claimed the Trust, after which they can send you a link that, once clicked, authorises your solicitor to manage and close the Trust on your behalf.

If you wish to log on to your Government Gateway account and close the Trust yourself, please follow the steps below.

Step 1:

After logging in, you will be asked whether the trust is registered and after clicking ‘yes’, please type the URN in the box. Press the ‘continue’ button, and you will be asked whether an agent is managing the Trust’s online register for the trustees – please click ‘yes’.

Again, you will be asked for your full name as lead trustee, your date of birth and National Insurance Number. After providing this you will again be asked the standard security questions about the people associated with the Trust. Please answer these as before and click ‘continue’ once you have checked your answers.

Step 2:

You will be shown a page that states you have been successful in answering the security questions. Please click the blue highlighted link that says ‘continue to this service'. After clicking this, please press the button that states ‘Start Maintaining the Trust’.

Next, you will be asked whether you wish to view the Trust’s most recent annual declaration – if you wish only to close the Trust, please press no.

Step 3:

The next page will present you with various options. Click the option that states ‘Close the Trust…’. On being asked the date the Trust closed, you must provide the date all the assets were officially appointed out of the Trust, e.g. when a property or the total funds in the Trust’s bank account were transferred into the name of the beneficiaries. If you are unsure of this and have previously obtained legal advice in relation to the administration of the estate that the Trust relates to, or with the general management of the Trust assets, please ask your solicitor for advice.

Step 4:

To proceed with closing the Trust, you must ensure that the Trust’s details are up to date on the register. Please check through the details of the Trust on the subsequent website pages to ensure you are submitting accurate information.

You will then be asked if you need to ‘add a controlling interest in a non-EEA company before closing the Trust’. Please click ‘no’.

Step 5:

The next page will show you various links to the Trust’s details that you had confirmed were up to date. Again, please make sure you are happy with these details before completing these final steps.

At the bottom of this page, please click the green button that states ‘Continue to Declaration’. You will then be taken to a page where you should provide your full name and press ‘continue’.

You have now successfully closed the Trust. Please save a copy of this Declaration of the trust’s deregistration – you will be able to do so by clicking the button that states ‘Print or Save this Declaration’. Again, it would be helpful to provide your solicitor with a copy of this Declaration in case the Trust’s deregistration is ever queried.

If you have any questions or concerns related to the TRS or your obligations as a trustee, our legal experts can help. Please get in touch by calling 01752 643978 or emailing and ask to speak with someone in our Wills & Probate team.

You can also look at the guidance created by HMRC on the website.

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