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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Trust management expenses: accumulation/discretionary trusts: basic rate, etc tax

In taxing the trustees of an accumulation/discretionary trust at rates up to basic rate, the usual deductions against various sources of income (e.g. deductions to arrive at net trading profit or rental income) are allowed. But the trustees do not get relief at those rates of tax for any ‘trustees’ expenses’ whatsoever.

The tax case of Aikin v Macdonald’s Trustees (3 TC 306 -1894), concerned with income remitted to the UK from abroad, confirmed the general principle that trust management expenses are not to be taken into account in arriving at the measure of taxable income of the trustees. The case found that the full amount of income received in the UK was taxable without any deduction in respect of expenses incurred in this country in managing the trust. As Lord McLaren said, ‘the only kind of deductions allowed is expenditure incurred in earning the profit there is no deduction under any circumstances allowable for expenditure incurred in managing profits which have already been earned and reduced into money’ (p309).