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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Enquiry work: trusts - trust deeds

Mandatory random enquiry

In all cases you must have

  • copies of any deed or deeds governing the trust
  • the names and dates of birth of current beneficiaries.

You should consider the status of the trust and check that the trustees have self-assessed accordingly.  If further advice is needed on the trust deed, submit it to Trusts Technical Edinburgh (Mailbox, Trusts Technical), with ‘Trust status’ as the email subject.

All other enquiry cases

If the circumstances merit, you can ask for the trust deed as part of any enquiry into a return or claim. For example:

  • There is a question about the status of the trust that could result in a loss of tax. The trustees say it is an interest in possession trust, but you think it may be accumulation/discretionary (see TSEM1565)
  • You have reason to believe that something in the trust deed or in trust law may affect the tax position.

If you do obtain the trust deed as part of an enquiry and further advice is needed on the trust deed, submit a copy of the deed to Trusts Technical Edinburgh, (Mailbox, Trusts Technical) with ‘Trust status’ as the email subject.

If in fact you have no reason to doubt the status of the trust, and there is no issue about trust law, there is no need to see the deed and you should not ask to see it.