The Crowe Trust team has been beta testing HMRC’s new software for the Trust Registration Service online over the last 18 months. This new software will be compatible with the EU Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD).
We have been advised that the software for the service is in the final stages of development and should be made available to agents by the summer.
Although it will be possible for agents of Trusts already registered to make changes to the information, they will not be allowed access without the lead trustee first logging on via a government gateway account (which they will have to create) and authorising the agent access to the trust in question.
During the most recent test session on Friday 20 March 2020, we highlighted to HMRC the potential problems this could create, particularly with Trustees who are elderly, not technologically savvy or have little or no access to the internet.
The creation of a gateway account by the Trustee is a complicated process and although professional Trustees may find the process easier, we believe that the majority of Trustees will struggle, a point which we have strongly emphasised to HMRC.
We will be participating in another beta test session shortly and we will update our Trust clients on how to:
a) set up a government gateway account for the trust
b) authorise Crowe UK LLP to access and make changes to the Trust information on the Trust Register.
Once we have more detail of what is required, we will publish a further communication, together with the appropriate instructions.
The new Directive requires all Trusts to register - not just those with UK tax liabilities. All unregistered Trusts in existence on 10 March 2020 should be registered by 31 March 2021.
We have been informed by HMRC that software compatible with this Directive is being developed, however it is very much in its infancy.
The Law Society of England and Wales has asked HMRC to consider deferring the commencement date of the Trusts required to register, in the light of the current coronavirus pandemic. We will also be urging HMRC to defer the deadline until the existing process is fully updated and thoroughly tested.
For more information of the Trust Registration service, please contact your usual Crowe contact.