The European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Trusts) Regulations 2021 (the ‘Regulations’) requires trustees of express trusts to file beneficial ownership information in a newly created Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts (the ‘CRBOT’).
The purpose of the Regulations is to improve transparency in Ireland and the EU by making clear who is the beneficial owner and ultimately owns and controls assets in Irish trusts.
Trusts Required to Register and Excluded Arrangements
All ‘Relevant Trusts’ being any trust whose trustees are resident in Ireland, or which are otherwise administered in Ireland, are obliged to submit information to the Register.
For the purposes of the Regulations, a ‘Relevant Trust’ is an express trust established by deed or other declaration in writing, save for ‘excluded arrangements’.
‘Excluded Arrangements’ are as follows:
- Approved pension schemes;
- Approved retirement funds;
- Approved profit-sharing schemes;
- Trusts for restricted shares within the meaning of section 128D of Taxes Consolidation Act 1997;
- Unit trusts; and
- Hemophilia HIV Trusts.
The Regulations also apply to trusts where, although the trustees are not a resident of the EU and the trust is not otherwise administered in the EU, the trustee enters into a business relationship in Ireland or acquires land or other real property in Ireland in the name of the trust.
For the purpose of the Regulations, a ‘Beneficial Owner’ of a ‘Relevant Trust’ includes the following:
- an individual who is entitled to a vested interest in the trust;
- a class of beneficiaries;
- the settlor;
- the trustee; and
- the protector.
Information to be submitted on the CRBOT
The following information is required to be submitted to the Register where the beneficial owner is an individual:
- Date of Birth;
- Nationality; and
- Personal Public Service Number (PPSN); and
- Statement of the nature and extent of the interest/control held.
The following information is required to be submitted to the Register where the beneficial owner is a legal entity registered on another Central Register in Ireland or the EU:
- Name of Legal Entity;
- Registered Address;
- Statement of the nature and extend of the interest/control held; and
- Filing number on the Register.
The Revenue Commissioners established a ‘Trust Register Portal’ on Revenue Online Service (ROS) to facilitate filings.
For trusts that were established on or before 23 April 2021, the registration deadline is 23 October 2021. Trusts created after 23 April 2021 must be filed within 6 months of their creation.
Inspection of the Trust Register
Unrestricted access to inspect the Trust Register will be available to the following:
- An Garda Síochána;
- Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Ireland;
- Revenue Commissioners; and
- Criminal Asset Bureau.
Restricted access to inspect the Trust Register will be available to the following:
- A ‘designated person’ as defined by Section 25 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010; and
- An individual who demonstrates that they have a ‘legitimate interest’ to inspect the Register.