Guidance

Register a trust as a trustee

Register your trust online if you’re a trustee.

Who should register

You must register your trust with HMRC:

  • to make sure you and the trust comply with anti-money laundering regulations
  • if you need to get a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) — for example, for filling in a Self Assessment tax return for the trust, even if the trust is on the exemption list

You must register if the trust becomes, or is liable for any of the following taxes:

  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Income Tax
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Stamp Duty Reserve Tax
  • Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (in Scotland)
  • Land Transaction Tax (in Wales)

The following types of trusts must register even if they have no tax liability:

  • all UK express trusts — unless they are specifically excluded
  • non-UK express trusts, like trusts that:
    • acquire land or property in the UK
    • have at least one trustee resident in the UK and enter into a ‘business relationship’ within the UK

If the trust is not resident in the UK (non resident trusts), you must register the trust if it becomes liable for tax on income coming from the UK or on UK assets.

If the trust has a tax liability but this is covered by a relief, you’ll need to register the trust to claim the relief through Self Assessment.

Trusts that do not need to be registered unless they are liable to pay UK tax

You do not need to register your trust if any of the following apply, unless it has a liability to UK taxation:

  • the trust is used to hold money or assets of a UK registered pension scheme — like an occupational pension scheme
  • the trust is used to hold life or retirement policies providing that the policy only pays out on death, terminal or critical illness or permanent disablement, or to meet the healthcare costs of the person assured
  • the trust is holding insurance policy benefits received after the death of the person assured — as long as the benefits are paid out from the trust within 2 years of the death
  • it’s a charitable trust that is registered as a charity in the UK or which is not required to register as a charity
  • it’s a ‘pilot’ trust set up before 6 October 2020 and holds no more than £100 — pilot trusts set up on or after 6 October 2020 will need to register
  • it’s a co-ownership trust set up to hold shares of property or other assets which are jointly owned by 2 or more people for themselves as ‘tenants in common’
  • it’s a will trust created by a person’s will and comes into effect on their death providing they only hold the estate assets for up to 2 years after the person’s death
  • it’s a trust for bereaved children under 18, or adults aged 18 to 25, set up under the will (or intestacy) of a deceased parent or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
  • it’s a ‘financial’ or ‘commercial’ trust created in the course of professional services or business transactions for holding client money or other assets

Other less common types of express trusts which are set up for particular purposes are also excluded from registration unless they have to be registered because they are liable to pay tax.

Read more about excluded express trusts.

Trusts which are not set up deliberately by a settlor but are imposed by courts or created by legislation, are not ‘express trusts’ and do not have to register unless they need to obtain a UTR to complete a tax return. Examples of these trusts include ones set up under:

  • the intestacy laws when a person dies without a valid will and the assets in the estate are held by a trust before passing to relatives
  • a court order to hold compensation payments

Some financial products and arrangements with ‘Trust’ in their description, like the Child Trust Fund or Venture Capital Trusts, are not really trusts, so do not need to be registered.

You should check with a solicitor, accountant, financial adviser or other professional adviser if you’re not sure if a product or arrangement:

  • is a trust
  • should be registered

Find out more information about trusts that are only required to register because of a liability to UK tax.

When to register

Trusts that are not taxable

Non-taxable trusts that were created on or before 6 October 2020

The deadline for registrations is on or before 1 September 2022.

Non-taxable trusts created after 6 October 2020

Register your trust within 90 days of it being created or becoming liable for tax, or on or before 1 September 2022 (whichever is later).

Trusts that are taxable

The registration deadline depends on:

  • when the trust was created
  • the tax the trust is liable for
  • if it has been liable for Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax before

Taxable trusts that are created on or after 6 April 2021

Register your trust within 90 days of the trust becoming liable for tax or on or before 1 September 2022 (whichever is later).

Taxable trusts that were created before 6 April 2021

Trusts that are liable for Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax for the first time

Register your trust on or before 5 October in the tax year after the one in which the trust starts to receive any income or has capital gains, and becomes liable for Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax.

For example, if your trust received some interest for the first time in May 2019 (the 2019 to 2020 tax year) and became liable to Income Tax on it, you should have registered on or before 5 October 2020 (in the 2020 to 2021 tax year).

Trusts that have been liable for Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax before

Register your trust on or before 31 January in the tax year after the one in which the trust receives any income or has capital gains, and is liable for tax.

Trusts that are liable for other taxes

Register your trust on or before 31 January in the tax year after the one in which your trust has any other tax liability, like Inheritance Tax.

If your trust is liable for more than one tax and both deadlines could apply, you must register it before the earlier of the 2 deadlines.

You may have to pay a £5,000 penalty if you deliberately:

  • fail to register the trust on time
  • do not keep the register up to date

What you’ll need

The following information is needed for both taxable and non-taxable trusts. However, you should read the section on taxable trusts to check what extra information you may need to provide.

You’ll need:

  • the name of the trust
  • the date the trust was created
  • to say if the trust is an express trust or not
  • details about whether a non-UK trust has a business relationship in the UK
  • details about any UK land or property the trust has purchased

You should be able to find these details in the trust deed and from any correspondence that the trust has had with HMRC.

Lead trustees

All trustees are equally legally responsible for the trust, but you must nominate one ‘lead’ trustee to be the main point of contact for HMRC. The lead trustee will receive the trust’s UTR if registering a taxable trust and a Unique Reference Number (URN) if registering a non-taxable trust. You’ll need to keep their contact information up to date.

You’ll need to give their:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number and address (if they’re a UK citizen)
  • passport details and address (if they’re not a UK citizen)
  • telephone number
  • country of residence
  • country of nationality

If the lead trustee is an organisation, you’ll need to give their:

  • organisation name
  • organisation UTR
  • address
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • country of residence

Deceased settlors

A settlor is an individual who has put assets into a trust.

You’ll need to give their:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • date of death
  • last known country of residence
  • last country of nationality

You will be asked to tell us if the settlor has mental capacity when registering a trust.

If a settlor has died after the trust was set up but before the trust has been registered, find out how to report this information on the Trust Registration Service.

Other individuals and organisations

For other individuals involved in the trust including more trustees, living settlors, protectors and beneficiaries you should give their:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • country of residence
  • country of nationality
  • mental capacity at the time of registration — HMRC will assume the individual has mental capacity, unless you tell us they do not

Find out more information about what mental capacity means in relation to trusts.

For all other organisations involved in the trust you’ll need to give their:

  • organisation name
  • address
  • country of residence

Beneficiaries

You should give the details of all known beneficiaries who can benefit from the trust. If you have more than 25 beneficiaries in any one beneficiary type, keep a note of additional beneficiaries for your own records.

Named beneficiaries

You must give details of all individuals, trusts, charities and organisations named as beneficiaries in the deed. Some named beneficiaries will only benefit when a certain event happens, such as when another beneficiary dies. You can include these in a class of beneficiaries until the event occurs. At that point, provide their details on the register as a named beneficiary.

Classes of beneficiaries

You can use a ‘class’ of beneficiaries to describe a group of individuals who are not yet known or named individually in the trust deed, for example, future grandchildren. This can also include named potential beneficiaries. When a member of a class of beneficiaries benefits from the trust, and so becomes known, you must give their details. You’ll be asked to give a description of each class.

This is used to record beneficiaries who are part of an organisation, for example, employees of a company.

You’ll also need to give an approximate number of beneficiaries in the group.

Ownership or controlling interest in a company based outside the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

This is where a trust has ownership of, or a controlling interest in a company based outside the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

You’ll need the:

  • company name
  • company address
  • country whose laws govern the company
  • date when the trust took controlling interest

Taxable trusts

You’ll need:

  • the type of trust
  • details about how it was set up
  • the trust’s UTR, if it has one

Deceased settlors

If available, you’ll need their:

  • National Insurance number (if they’re a UK citizen)
  • address
  • passport details and address (if they’re not a UK citizen)

Other individuals and organisations

You must also give their:

  • National Insurance number (if they’re a UK citizen)
  • address
  • passport details and address (if they’re not a UK citizen)

Shares

You’ll need the:

  • share company name
  • number of shares
  • class and type of share
  • approximate value of the shares when you register the trust

Partnership

You’ll need the partnership:

  • description
  • start date

Business

You’ll need the:

  • business name
  • business description
  • business address
  • approximate value of the business when you register the trust

Property and land

You’ll need the:

  • address, name or description of the property or land
  • estimated full value of the property or land at the time of registering the trust
  • estimated value of the portion of land or property held in trust if it does not own it all

Money

You’ll need the total amount of money in the trust.

Other assets (such as cars, jewellery or art)

You’ll need:

  • a description of the asset
  • the value of the asset when you register the trust

How to register

Before you can register a trust as a trustee, you need to have an Organisation Government Gateway user ID and password.

This is different to an Individual Government Gateway user ID and password. You cannot use an Individual Government Gateway user ID and password to register a trust.

You’ll need a different Organisation Government Gateway user ID for each trust you are responsible for, you can create one when you register. Select ‘Organisation’ on the screen that is displayed after you have created your password.

You’ll need:

  • an email address (this will be linked to the trust’s Organisation Government Gateway account)
  • your full name
  • a landline or mobile phone number

Register now

HMRC services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

Report that beneficial owners may be at a disproportionate risk of harm

From 1 September 2022, in limited circumstances, HMRC may share information held on the Trust Registration Service with some third parties. Information will only be shared where either:

  • individuals can show that they’re looking into a specific instance of money laundering or terrorist financing in relation to a specific trust
  • where a trust holds a controlling interest in offshore companies

HMRC will not share information on specific individuals if doing so would lead to a disproportionate risk of:

  • fraud
  • kidnapping
  • blackmail
  • extortion
  • harassment
  • violence
  • intimidation

If you become aware that one or more of the trust’s beneficial owners may be exposed to a disproportionate risk of harm if their trust information is released, tell HMRC in writing.

If HMRC get a Trust Data Request in relation to that trust, we will review this information and decide if the risk of harm exemption applies. The exemption applies if releasing the beneficial owner’s information would expose them to a disproportionate risk of harm.

This information includes their:

  • full name
  • month and year of birth
  • nationality
  • country of residence and their
  • beneficial interest in the trust

Send HMRC the:

  • trust UTR or URN
  • trust name
  • lead trustee name
  • beneficial owners that are at risk of harm
  • the specific risk of harm
  • full reason why the beneficial owner is at risk of the specified harm
  • full reason for believing that releasing their trust information would expose them to a disproportionate risk of harm
  • length of time you believe this risk will continue

You should send further reports on an annual basis if you believe the risk of harm continues to apply.

Send an email with ‘Beneficial owners at risk of harm’ in the subject line, to: trs.riskofharm@hmrc.gov.uk.

This email is sent at the owner’s risk and HMRC will not be liable for any interception of that information. This mailbox will only accept information reporting a risk of harm.

Reporting a risk of harm is not a guarantee that the exemption will be applied. The reports are only reviewed by HMRC when a Trust Data Request about the specified trust is received.

After you’ve registered

If you are registering a trust that is liable to tax, HMRC will send the lead trustee a UTR, usually within 15 working days. You’ll need the UTR to start filing Self Assessment tax returns.

If the trust is not liable to pay tax, you can get your URN by logging back into the service following submission of the registration.

Viewing or making changes to registration details

You can use the online service to view or make changes to your registered trust.

If you want an agent to view or make changes to the trust’s registration details, you must authorise them to do so.

Starting new business relationships

If your trust wants to start a new business relationship with an organisation that we define as a relevant person, you’ll need to give them an up-to-date copy of your proof of registration document.

You can download a PDF copy of the document in the online service, by selecting ‘Get evidence of the trust’s registration’.

You can find out more about what a relevant person is and what will happen if you do not provide them with a proof of registration document in the report a trust discrepancy to HMRC guide.

Sharing information about your trust

We may share details about your trust if someone submits a trust data request to us and it meets the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations.

Read the ask HMRC for information about a trust guide to find out:

  • who we will share information with
  • what we will share
  • when we will share it
Published 19 May 2020
Last updated 1 September 2022 + show all updates
  1. The 'After you've registered' section has been updated with information on what you need to do if you start a new business relationship with an organisation and when HMRC will share information about your trust.

  2. We have updated the guidance on penalties due to late registration or failure to register.

  3. The 'How to register' section has been updated to make it clear you must use an Organisation Government Gateway user ID to register a trust.

  4. Information on how to report that beneficial owners may be at a disproportionate risk of harm has been added.

  5. Guidance has been added about the information you need to register a trust if the settlor is deceased.

  6. The section 'when to register' has been updated, as you may now receive a notification letter reminding you to register a trust if you do not register on time.

  7. The section on 'further considerations for trusts that are only required to register because of a liability to UK tax' has been removed and a link has been added to more detailed information.

  8. The 'Who should register' section has been updated.

  9. Information about the registration deadline for taxable and non-taxable trusts has been added.

  10. Added translation

  11. We've updated the page with further guidance for both taxable and non-taxable trusts.

  12. Sections about what you'll need to register a trust and employment trust beneficiaries have been updated.

  13. Update to sections 'Beneficiaries' about the number of beneficiaries and 'Viewing or making changes to registration details' about authorising an agent.

  14. Information about how to authorise an agent to view or make changes to registration details for you has been updated.

  15. First published.