We summarised the debacle of the Trust Registration Service (TRS) on 7 December 2017, and there have been continuing problems with the TRS ever since.
For example, until April 2020 it was not possible for agents to update the details of the trustees, settlors and beneficiaries on the TRS. However, the trust SA tax return asked, at question 20, to confirm whether the TRS had been updated with any changes.
Agents can now truthfully answer question 20 on the trust’s 2019/20 tax return, but had to ignore that question on the 2017/18 and 2018/19 returns. Any trust changes which occurred in the two years to 5 April 2019 should be reported on the TRS by 31 January 2021.
Note the TRS is not linked to the self-assessment service. A trustee can’t gain access to the TRS by logging into their Business Tax Account.
To allow an agent to access the TRS and update details the trustee and the agent must follow these steps:
- Trustee sets up a government gateway ID for the trust asking for an “organisation” account.
- Trustee logs into the government gateway for the trust and “claims” the trust. This requires the trustee to answer a number of questions about the trust, such as NI number name of lead trustee.
- Agent logs into to their Agent Services Account (ASA)
- Agent selects option to be authorised to maintain a trust, and enters the trust’s UTR number. The system generates a link which agent must send to the client.
- Trustee clicks on the link received from the agent and signs into the government gateway.
- Trustee chooses option to authorise agent to act to maintain the trust.
- Agent logs in with their ASA credentials to update the trust.