The deadline for trust administrators to sign up to the UK’s new mandatory online Trusts Registration Service has been extended by two months, HM Revenue & Customs has announced.
This means that instead of having to be fully registered by 5 October, those responsible for managing trusts will now have until 5 December 2017 to be in compliance, although technically, 5 October remains the official deadline, an HMRC spokesperson said.
“The only difference is that we wont be fining anyone provided that they register by the 5 December,” the spokesperson added.
No explanation was given for the extension, but observers said that it appeared HMRC needed more time to get all of its systems in place.
As reported, the new Trusts Registration Service was conceived as part of the UK government’s efforts to tighten up its anti-money laundering regime, with the first phase going live in July. Under the new rules, all trusts and complex estates with a tax liability are required to register, through the new online facility, by 5 October in the tax year following the year in which the trustees first had taxable income.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for HMRC told International Investment that the Trusts Registration Service project “is being delivered in a number of phases”, and that those in the business of looking after trusts “will be able to use the service to register new and existing trusts from October”.
“Given that agents will not have been able to use the service sooner to register trusts that have an income tax or capital gains tax liability for the first time, it would not have been reasonable to impose penalties on them,” the spokesperson added.
“The further time that has been provided will allow customers additional time to register [their] trusts.”
To read more about what HMRC requires of trusts industry professionals, on the Gov.uk website, click here.