Trusts and estates newsletter – updates on the TRS, IHT admin and more

The latest edition of HMRC’s Trusts & Estates newsletter was published on 20 December 2018 and covers an eclectic list of topics. 

First off the block is a reminder for agents to use the toolkits aimed at trusts. These toolkits can be very useful and help agents who only file a few trust returns to avoid the common mistakes. 

There is an update on the trust registration service (TRS). It is still not available for trustees or agents to update their information, and so changes in the lead trustee or the trust correspondence address have to be made by post. The update facility should become available from summer 2019 when the new TRS starts to be rolled out. In the meantime the question on SA900 asking if the TRS has been updated can be ignored and left blank without fear of a penalty. HMRC is asking for volunteers to help with the new TRS – details are on the newsletter if you would like to volunteer. 

The new TRS is necessary to help with the roll out of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive which will require all express trusts to be registered regardless of whether they have a tax liability or not. A consultation will be issued on this extension. 

The existing TRS should still be used to record trusts with a tax liability for the first time in 2017/18 (the registration must be done by 31 January 2019) or in later years, and to request a UTR for new trusts. 

There is a reminder that there is an ongoing consultation on trusts, which is discussed in our news item Government seeks views on how trusts are taxed. Responses need to be submitted by 30 January which is not great timing for private client specialists. If you have any comments you would like to feed into the ICAEW’s consultation response please email 

The change to the IHT manuals regarding specialty debts is reported, we covered this change in our news item in September 2018: Specialty debts and situs – changes to the IHT manuals 

There has been a change to the form required to apply for confirmation in Scotland, the latest form is available on GOV.UK and must be used. 

Before making an IHT payment for a lifetime event it is necessary to apply for a reference using form IHT122 to ensure the payment is matched to the correct case. 

Finally there are a few tips on how to avoid delays when sending forms and documents to HMRC to make sure they do not get delayed in the post scanning operation.