Trust Registration Service (TRS) – Proof of registration required by institutions

Published by Aaron Brinkley on 11 April 2023

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Over recent months we have seen an increased regulatory requirement from other professional institutions regarding Trusts, particularly regarding the TRS.

In order to open new bank accounts and pass other regulatory compliance checks, these institutions are requesting HMRC’s ‘proof of registration’ document for the Trust.

This is an official HMRC document which lists the most up to date information provided on the TRS Form, including details of the Settlor, Trustees and Beneficiaries.

The only way in which to produce the ‘proof of registration’ document is to complete the claiming of the Trust process on the TRS. This was a new process introduced by HMRC in 2022 to comply with the fifth anti-money laundering directive regulations. The claiming process is comprised of several separate stages and requires a ‘digital handshake’ from the lead trustee to grant their agent with authority to maintain the Trust Register on their behalf.

As the proof of registration document is being requested more and more often, it is essential that all Taxable and any relevant Non-Taxable Trusts are claimed on the TRS.

This is twofold, firstly to keep the Trust compliant with the annual requirement on the Tax Return to keep the Trust Register up to date. Secondly to produce the proof of registration document promptly to institutions that require them to enable them to comply with their regulations and continue offering financial and other services to the trust.

Where a registrable trust has not been registered or material differences are found in details of the beneficial owners on the registration document, there could be consequences for the trustees and their agent.

In the first instance of differences being found in the details or if the trust has not been registered, professional institutions have been instructed to attempt to resolve this directly with the trustees.

However, if the details are not corrected, the professional institution is required to make a discrepancy report to HMRC. The consequences of a discrepancy report being made have not yet been confirmed, however it is best to avoid finding out altogether by ensuring that the trust register is up to date as soon as possible.

If you need any help with either registration of a trust or further details regarding the claiming process, please do contact us and a member of our trust team and we will be happy to assist you.

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