Deadline dispensation but clock keeps ticking for trustees

Trustees who missed the September deadline to comply with the expanded scope of the Trust Registration regime have been thrown a lifeline by HMRC, with the news that penalties will not be imposed on those who missed the cut-off date through ignorance. 

Introduced as part of the UK’s implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive, the new rules are designed to counter terrorism and money laundering, with improved transparency on the ownership of assets held in trusts.  They extend the scope of the trust register to all UK express trusts and some non-UK trusts, regardless of whether they pay tax.

Some trusts are excluded, in situations where they have a limited purpose and the structure is unlikely to be used for money laundering or financing terrorism, but generally more trusts are required to register, including UK resident trusts without UK tax liabilities and most bare trusts.

And for taxable trusts, more information has to be provided about beneficial owners, including the settlor, trustees, beneficiaries, and other parties who exercise control over the trust.  This includes the name, month and year of birth, country of residence, nationality and details of their beneficial interest in the trust.  The record on the register must be kept up to date with any changes notified within 90 days of taking place.

The easing by HMRC means penalties are unlikely to be imposed for those who missed the September deadline, unless they were acting deliberately.  But the clock is ticking for all trustees to ensure they comply with the new requirements if they are to avoid potential fines, which can be up to £5,000 per trust.

If you are involved in a trust and are not aware of any action having been taken, or are unsure whether you need to comply, it really is time to act swiftly and get specialist advice.

To discuss this, or any other related matter with Jordan directly, please call 01483 887766, email info@hartbrown.co.uk or start a live chat today.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Jordan Page

Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

Jordan is a Senior Associate with more than 5 years' post-qualified experience, specialising in Wills, lasting powers of attorney and the administration of trusts and...

Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

Jordan Page

Jordan is a Senior Associate with more than 5 years' post-qualified experience, specialising in Wills, lasting powers of attorney and the administration of trusts and estates. He is based in the Trusts & Estates department in Guildford.

Jordan studied law at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2013. Whilst completing his LPC on a part time basis, Jordan worked in the firm’s quality and compliance department as the firm’s Chief Internal Auditor, before commencing his training contract in April 2016.

Having previously undertaken trainee roles in the Family and Residential Property departments, Jordan qualified into the Trust & Estates department where he completed his training.

What does Jordan regard as his specialism?

"The administration of estates and inheritance tax planning in equal measure. My experience of administering estates and calculating inheritance tax liabilities has provided me with valuable insight into how this particularly unpopular tax applies. This type of work has given me the tools to advise clients as to the steps they can take in advance to mitigate their exposure to inheritance tax. I pride myself on providing legal advice in a straightforward manner, cutting through the legal jargon. I always endeavour to work as efficiently as I can in order to provide the best level of service."

Jordan frequently receives great feedback from his clients:

"Just thought I’d email to say thank you really - it’s been a long 11 months but some of the horror stories I have heard from friends who have had to deal with these affairs makes us all realise how efficient and effective you have been so I'd like to thank you on behalf of all our family."

"“Thank you above all for all your exemplary and conscientious work on my mother’s estate, carried out with great patience and attention to every detail.”

“Thanks again for all your hard and conscientious work on the estate and then the will. You have made what could have been a stressful process extremely easy and constructive. I really appreciate the time you have devoted to helping me navigate this.”

"Hart Brown comes up trumps yet again"

“I appreciate your efforts and thank you for helping me to understand the process!”

"Thank you for your help, your ears will be burning, as I have been ringing your praises!!"

“Thank you for all your input, help and time - it has been much appreciated.”

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and professionalism - it is a testament to all those who worked so hard on this case that it looks as though it will all be settled by the first year Anniversary. Quite remarkable!”

"I would like to place on record my appreciation of the efficient and quick service you have provided, particularly as I wished to have the new will in place before my departure on holiday."

“I have been impressed by the way you have dealt with the estate and the thorough way each step has been handled”

"Thank you for the way you have handled my father’s estate. It made a potentially difficult task stress free. You may recall that I was executor for my Scottish aunt’s estate at the same time - let’s just say that was a far more unpleasant experience".