Trusts that have incurred a liability to income tax or capital gains tax for the first time in the tax year 2016/17 will need to complete registration on the TRS by no later than 5 January 2018.
This extension is only for the first year of the TRS. The deadline for existing trusts to register on the TRS remains unchanged at 31 January 2018.
TRS allows trustees to register their trust online and provide information about its beneficial owners. This is now the only way trusts and complex estates can obtain their self-assessment unique taxpayer reference.
In subsequent years, or where the trust is already registered for self-assessment, the trustees (or their agent) of either a UK or non-UK (express) trust that incurs a UK tax liability are required to provide beneficial ownership information about the trust, using the TRS, by 31 January after the end of tax year.
The new service launched in early July for trustees and went live for agents filing on behalf of trustees on 17 October.
Agents or trustees who have already registered their trusts using the now-discontinued paper form 41G will find that none of that information has been transferred across to the online TRS.
The Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales welcomed the decision: “We are pleased the deadline has been extended for new trusts and complex estates but extremely disappointed that the 31 January 2018 deadline for existing trusts remains.
“Many firms have not registered for an Agent Services Account, a necessary precursor to using the TRS. This could be because they are unable to register (due to HMRC issues) or because they have concerns about the confidentiality of clients details, on which HMRC has been unable to give reassurances. So there is very little time remaining to register existing trusts.
“We still think HMRC has underestimated how long it will take to register each trust and we will continue to press for an extension to the 31 January deadline. Many of our members are telling us that a soft landing on penalties is not good enough as clients will expect deadlines to be met whether there is a penalty or not.”
The service will provide a single online service for trusts to comply with their registration obligations.