Millions of trustees need to register details of their trusts before next autumn, following the launch of a new trust registration service. 

The service was originally announced in draft form in 2017, at a time when it would only have applied to taxable-relevant trusts.

Since then it has been expanded to include all UK-resident express trusts, with a few exemptions for pension trusts and charity trusts.

As such, details of up to two million trusts must be registered with HMRC on or before 1 September 2022.

Trustees who fail to do this will run the risk of a fine, with the potential for large penalties if the tax authority deems the behaviour to be deliberate.

All trusts in scope will need to provide details on trustees, settlors, protectors and beneficiaries.

The nature and extent of the beneficiary’s beneficial interest and mental capacity at the time of registration also needs to be included in the disclosure.

HMRC has said these details will not be available to the public and the information on each trust will remain confidential.

Trusts will need to be registered by 1 September 2022 or 90 days from the trust creation, whichever is later.

Many trusts play a significant role in estate planning for sensitive and complex family financial situations, requiring considerable care and tact.

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