HMRC provides further last-minute assistance with TRS registration
The guidance is available via a temporary email inbox, to which customers can address requests. HMRC's helpline staff will also offer this option once it becomes clear that a customer is having trouble with aspects of the TRS.
HMRC notes that there continues to be a range of questions on the precise details as to what trusts are required to register. It has updated the section on excluded express trusts to address as many of these questions as possible, it says.
The new guidance also clarifies the detailed procedure for starting the registration process. Trustees are warned that they must not use an individual Government Gateway user ID that has previously been set up for other purposes, such as income tax self-assessment. Instead, they must set up a separate Organisation Government Gateway user ID, with one such account for each trust they want to register. For each trust, they will need to provide their full name, a phone number and an email address that will be linked to the trust's Organisation Government Gateway account.
Agents, however, will not need to set up a Government Gateway for each trust, as these can all be registered using the agent services account. Agents will not receive a unique reference number for the trust as these will be issued directly to the lead trustee's address.
The new guidance repeats HMRC's undertaking that there will be no penalty for a first offence of failure to register or late registration of a trust, unless that failure is shown to be due to deliberate behaviour on the part of the trustees. This is in recognition of the fact that the registration requirement is now being expanded to cover almost all trusts, not just those with a tax consequence, and will be a new and unfamiliar obligation for many trustees.
As well as being the deadline for registering new trusts, 1 September 2022 is the date at which the data sharing and discrepancy reporting obligations begin. Details are set out in the relevant sections of HMRC's manual.
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