The Trust Registration Service went live for agents on 17 October 2017.
The Tax Faculty has received a significant number of reports from members who have had difficulty with the service. We are in ongoing discussions with HMRC about these issues and the need for better communications.
The additional information we have obtained so far is as follows:
The FAQs referred to were provided by HMRC and can be found via our news item Trust registration service frequently answered questions
Once the agent has access to the service, the issues are the amount of information that is required, much of which the agent may not hold. There is also the usual frustration that is experienced with all iforms in that it is not possible to proceed to the next screen until the previous screen has been completed; you cannot complete the form leaving some questions unanswered and go back later when the missing information has been obtained (it is possible to save a partially completed form).
The deadline to register
The Tax Faculty has made representations that the 5 December 2017 deadline for registering new trusts and the 31 January 2018 deadline for existing trusts should be extended. We will post further news items as more information emerges.
HMRC is running a Talking Points webinar on this service: Register for this meeting on 17 November, 12:00 to 13:00.
HMRC have told us we cannot register online as agents because we are not in the UK. They say they will send us the forms to register each trust separately by post!
as at 13.55pm on Thur 22 November we are still unable to set up our agent account because the firm's UTR and postcode are not recognised using the online link, despite verbal assurances from HMRC technical staff that they are, we have no idea as to when this issue might be resolved and understandably my co-partners and clients are becoming increasingly anxious about meeting the "deadline"
The registration requirements for existing trusts are explained in HMRC’s FAQs on https://ion.icaew.com/taxfaculty/b/weblog/posts/trust-registration-service-frequently-answered-questions; they are the same as for new trusts except that that the deadline to register is generally later (31 January 2018 for existing trusts filing self assessment tax returns for 2016/17). The deadline for new trusts with a tax consequence for the first time in 2016/17 has recently been extended to 5 January 2018. You may be interested in registering for HMRC’s Talking Points webinar for tax agents on this topic: Friday 17 November at 12 noon.
In relation to existing trusts for which we already hold a UTR and are filing annual trust returns, surely we do not need to register these? Is there any clarity or guidance on this that anyone is aware of?
We have had some success with the Trust register. We already had an ASA in place as our firm were used in the initial HMRC pilot to test their software. The form is cumbersome if you do not have all the information but you can save the form and come back later which is a useful addition.