Trustees’ legal obligations – The Trust Registration Service.

The Trust Registration Service (“TRS”) was established in 2017 to meet the UK’s money laundering obligations. At that time, the requirement to register applied to taxable trusts only.

Trustees’ legal obligations – The Trust Registration Service_

A major change occurred in January 2020, so that all express trusts (taxable and non-taxable) and some non-resident trusts that were in existence on or after 6 October 2020, were required to register on TRS by 1 September 2022, or within 90 days of their creation if later.

The obligation to register lies with the trustees.  A lead trustee must be nominated and the lead trustee is responsible for registering on, and maintaining TRS, although there are some exceptions from registration.

Even if the trust has been in existence for years so that tax returns have been prepared together with the old style form 41G, the trust must still be registered on TRS.  Trusts that were in existence as at 6 October 2020 but have since closed still need to be registered, even if closed before 1 September 2022.

Trustees are also required to update TRS with any changes to details or circumstances notified within 90 days of the change.  Trustees are also required to submit annual declarations to update the register or confirm that all information is up to date by 31 January following each tax year-end. Trustees must notify TRS of the closure of a trust.

The registration can also apply to the administration of estates that have been ongoing for more than two years, depending on the wording within the Will of the deceased.

If the trust has any overseas assets, including an overseas investment policy such as a bond or investment based in say Ireland or Luxembourg, there can also be a requirement to register the trust on a Trust Register in the relevant country in addition to being registered on TRS in the UK.

The requirement to register can also apply to unincorporated sports clubs and associations where the property/land of the club is held by members who have been willing to act as trustees.

Failure to register a trust or to update changes on TRS can result in penalties.  Penalties will be considered on a case by case basis, but can be up to £5,000 if deliberate non-compliance is suspected.

If you require any assistance on this or another trust matter, please contact Jen James on 01633 653171 or Alternatively, please contact your usual advisor on 01633 810081 or email