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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Introduction to trusts: trust deeds: unrequested trust deed - established trust

Trust deed sent in by itself without explanation

If the trust deed is sent in

  • without explanation, or
  • with a request for comments on the deed

respond as for new trusts in TSEM1710.

The return is designed to enable full disclosure to be made without the need to send in other material. But taxpayers and practitioners are entitled to send in additional material if they consider that it adds information of relevance to the tax liability that cannot be contained within the return. We accept any additional information sent in with the return. So you should not send the deed back. Retain it and treat it as part of the return. If there is no normal compliance reason to enquire into the return, do not look at the deed, but if you open an enquiry at any time you may use it. You do not need to write to the taxpayer or agent, unless the document is an original, in which case see TSEM1710.

Taxpayers and agents should be aware that the submission of documents may not provide protection against a discovery assessment beyond that arising from the submission of the return alone. The information contained in the additional material may have been fully covered within the return or, alternatively, there may be so much material that the HMRC officer ‘could not have been reasonably expected, on the basis of the information made available to him before that time, to be aware’ (TMA70/S29(5)) of the particular point of liability, unless the taxpayer or agent had explained its relevance(see EM3261).

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Trust deed sent in with explanation

Unrequested trust deeds may be accompanied by a letter explaining why the deed is being submitted. If there is a specific claim or query, deal with it accordingly.

For example, the deed may have been sent in support of a claim for overpayment relief, and the basis of taxation of the trust or beneficiaries is now in question. Before you consider the claim you should consider the status of the trust. If further advice is needed on the trust deed, submit it to Trusts Technical Edinburgh under TSEM2160. Trusts Technical Edinburgh will advise on the status of the trust and suggest whether you need to consult the technical specialist on overpayment relief claims.

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Trust deed sent in with request for general advice

If the letter asks for general advice on the tax consequences of the deed, see TSEM1720.