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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Basic terms of trust law as applied to CGT: legal/beneficial interests

In English and Irish law it is conventional to refer to the division of ownership between the legal owners (the trustees) and the beneficial owners (the beneficiaries). This reflects the fact that the beneficiaries in a number of specified situations have actual rights over the trust property. By way of contrast, in Scottish law the beneficiaries have no equitable rights in the trust property itself. They can only sue the trustees to ensure the proper administration of the trust. The concept of beneficial ownership is unknown to Scottish law.