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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Ownership and income tax: express trusts - oral trust

When there is no written documentation, the parties might claim that an oral trust exists. It is up to the taxpayer to prove it. HMRC does not have to prove that a trust does not exist.

A trust in respect of land and buildings should be in writing (TSEM9912). So you cannot accept an express oral trust claim in respect of land and buildings. If a ‘constructive’ trust is claimed, see TSEM9700.

While oral trusts can exist in respect of personal property (that is, property other than land and buildings), extreme care should be taken before accepting such claims.

See TSEM9550 about evidence.