The last time I blogged about this was May 2022….where has that time gone !!
The trust registration deadline has come and gone, and believe me, if my experience of this is the same as everyone else who has been involved in the process, this has taken up much of my time the last month and a half, dealing with clients needing to get trusts registered.
At least HMRC are not seeking to charge late registration penalties where it is a “first offence of failure” and the late registration is not down to a trustee “deliberately” just not registering the trust.
Instead, it is likely that a warning letter will be issued to the trustee, and if the trust has not yet registered, they do so as soon as possible and definitely within the time frame stated in the letter.
There are still some uncertainties surrounding certain situations where a trust can be created unintentionally, for example for financial services-based investments, but maybe of more interest is where land is involved. As highlighted by HMRC guidance in their Trust Registration Service Manual a trust can be created where legal ownership is different to the beneficial ownership. The legal owner is the person or people who hold the legal title under their name and the beneficial owner is the person / or people who enjoy the benefits of ownership even though the title is in someone else’s name or names. This can be of particular relevance for a partnership, although there is an exemption from registration where the only reason that the legal owners are different to the beneficial owners is because you can only have a maximum of four people named on the land registry.
If you have any concerns over whether you have a trust that needs to be registered HMRC’s guidance in their Trust Registration Service Manual is a good starting point or give me a call and we can discuss your particular circumstances to decide what, if anything, you need to do.