In its FAQ document of 22 November 2017 HMRC states
"You do not need to register in a given tax year under the following circumstances:* if the trustees do not need to file a tax return and have not incurred a liability to pay any of therelevant UK taxes"
In its notice of 8 December 2017 in which it announces an extension of the time limit for registering trusts it states:
"We have listened to your feedback about initial difficulties with this new service and the pressures this is placing on agents at a very busy time. Therefore, for this, the first year of operation only, HMRC will not impose a penalty on the trustees of taxable relevant trusts if the trustees, or an agent acting on behalf of the trustees fail to register on TRS by 31 January 2018 but do so no later than 5 March 2018. This applies for both trusts which are already registered for Self-Assessment (SA) and those which do not require to be registered for SA."
We all have trusts which are not required to be registered for SA (all those single premium bonds from which no withdrawals have been made?) . The FAQ of 22 November 2017 assures us we don't need to register these trusts. The notice of 8 December 2017 tells us we do.
I am confused.
Please can the Tax Faculty give us clear guidance about what we must do for each type of trust and when?
The regulations and HMRC are quite clear that it is only relevant trusts with a UK tax consequence in 2016/17 that have to be registered and the extended window for filing is to 5 March 2018.
The tax consequence may be an income tax or capital gains tax liability in which case a self-assessment return is also required. If 2016/17 was the first year the trust has an income tax or capital gains tax liability and they do not have a UTR then they needed to register before 5 January 2018; they cannot get a UTR in any other way as the 41G(Trust) was withdrawn in April 2017.
If the tax consequence was an inheritance tax charge, a stamp duty land tax charge (land purchase), land and buildings transaction tax (Scotland) or a stamp duty reserve tax charge (share purchase) the trust needs to be registered by 5 March 2018 but it does not have to have a UTR.
A relevant trust is a UK express trust or a non-UK express trust that receives income from a UK source or has UK situs assets on which it has to pay one of the listed taxes
The notice of 8 December was trying to make clear that no penalties will be applied provided the relevant taxable trust is registered by 5 March and it does not matter whether it is a trust registered for self-assessment or not, the obligation to register applies to all relevant taxable trusts.