The troubled introduction of the UK's on-line trust registration service continues, with HMRC announcing that this year's deadline for existing trusts is effectively extended from 31 January to 5 March 2018.
HMRC has also revised the guidance on who needs to be individually identified as "a beneficiary" and when it is permissible simply to provide a class description. The guidance is still slightly unclear and, in our view, at odds with the regulations, but HMRC's current position is that a beneficiary named in a trust instrument or who receives a benefit from a trust needs to be individually identified. In contrast, a class description will suffice for un-named classes, even if some members can be identified (save where they have benefitted) and those who become potential beneficiaries contingent on the death of a named beneficiary.
In addition, individual details still have to be given for the settlor(s), trustee(s), potential beneficiaries referred to in a letter of wishes, protectors and others with control. HMRC has confirmed to us that attorneys who have been appointed by trustees have control for these purposes and so their individual details must also be disclosed.
Separately a Treasury minister has confirmed that whilst these EU-based regulations will continue to apply once the UK leaves the EU, the UK will oppose any EU pressure to grant public access to the register, in order to protect individual privacy rights.