As many as 1 million trusts in the UK could be caught by a new requirement to register on a government list. Those failing to sign up risk fines and difficulties accessing professional advice, tax experts have warned.
In light of this, James Cook, partner at Collyer Bristow, comments:
“On the face of it, the extension of the trust registration service rules appears to be a further attempt by HMRC to increase their search for information. Whilst transparency of these structures will no doubt assist when it comes to combating money laundering, the rules place a greater burden on trustees and their advisers which in some cases, where the trust is not exempt from registration, may have disproportionate cost implications.
“The rules are not straightforward, however, all trustees should consider whether it is now a requirement to register their trust and going forward it may be beneficial to reassess the overall purpose of the trust.”