As reported in previous news items, the trust registration service (TRS) has been available for trustees since July but it is still not available for agents. Agent access is expected before the end of October.
In the meantime HMRC has issued some guidance in the form of FAQs which you can access as a file attached to this news item.
The TRS is the government’s response to the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive and must be completed/updated for all UK trusts that have had a tax event in the tax year and for overseas trusts that have had a UK tax consequence. It is the place to register new trusts. The Form 41G(Trusts) was discontinued in April 2017.
Before agents can use the TRS they will have to set up their agent services account. This is the one that will be used for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Business and other new HMRC agent services as they are rolled out, so any agents taking part in the MTD trial will have the necessary agent services account already. Entering the agent gateway credentials in this screen prompts the following response:
Before you can sign up for the new Agent Services account you must request access. Please email us at email@example.com with the subject line, 'request access for Agent Services'
So agents may be able to make a start by getting their agent services account set up.
The FAQs give an indication of the level of detail required by the TRS which will enable agents to start collating the information in advance.
What is not clear is how much information will be rolled over into the register by HMRC from the records they already hold on existing trusts. We have been told all along in our discussions with HMRC that information will be rolled over, but that does not seem clear from the FAQs. We have asked HMRC for clarification of this point.
Is there any further guidance available with regard to existing trusts. Surely we do not need to register trusts for which UTRs have been issued and we are filing annual trust returns? Is there any clarity on this>
This is a shambles. I have registered one trust as trustee not realising the depth of information required, but as I went through I pressed the "save" button and to my horror at the end I got thanked for registering, even though the information is incomplete and am told it will be January at the earliest that I can access to correct.Then I have another one to register as agent, so I e-mailed HMRC to get the agent access (twice) which elicited no response, and am now told there has been a delay with agent access. Frankly this all fills me with dread for the coming of MTD, given that TRS should be relatively straightforward in comparison. This sort of stuff is perhaps all well and manageable for firms with decent IT infrastructure and back up, but for we amateurs, however gifted, it is all beginning to get a bit too hard so how the general populace will manage I do not know.
I have already been able to access the TRS as an agent and no information already held by HMRC has been rolled over into the register. I have had to complete all the information and it is extremely time consuming.