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Tis the season…….of Trust Tax Returns!

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

As we go hurtling into October, as well as Halloween season, there’s also another event that can be added under the title of slightly scary – annual HMRC Trust Tax Returns!

Not to worry though, here at Wilson Browne Solicitors, we can lend a hand…

Trust Tax Returns have to be submitted yearly to HMRC if your Trust creates income or has created income in the past.

“Income” simply means where an investment for the Trust has created interest. These investments can be in the form of an investment portfolio for the Trust, rental from a Trust property, a bank account for the Trust, or even a good old-fashioned building society passbook.

The amount of income generated can be several pounds or several thousand pounds. Regardless of the amount and with a few exceptions, a Tax Return for the Trust still needs to be completed.

This income needs to be declared yearly on the annual Tax Return. This is based on the income received from the previous tax year (which runs from the 6th April to the following 5th April).

If you complete a paper return, this is due back to HMRC by the 31st October. (If you submit returns online, you get a little longer – till the 31st January)

After the return has been submitted to HMRC, they will send to you a statement asking you to pay the tax due by the end of January. Depending on the tax due and the options that you have selected you can either pay this tax in one go or split the payment between January and July.

As well as completing the annual Tax Return showing the amount of income that the Trust has generated you will also need to ensure that the online HMRC Trust Register is declared as up to date. Reviewing the online Trust Register is a good way of reviewing the details that HMRC holds about your Trust to ensure that the details are correct going forward.

You should also update the HMRC Trust Register within 90 days should there be any changes to your Trust. An example of this can be when a Trustee has been retired from the Trust and replaced with another or when the contact details of the lead Trustee have changed.

In some instances, your Trust will not have generated any income but you may still be asked to complete a Tax Return. If asked, you must still ensure that the return is completed and sent to HMRC by the deadline. This is called a nil return and even though there is no income to be declared, it is still important to make sure the return is completed on time otherwise you may face a penalty from HMRC for being late.

Your Trust may not have generated any income in the past, however, due to a change in investments held may start to generate income in the future. You must always be mindful that as soon as income starts to be generated, you will need to update HMRC (via the online Trust Registration Service). They will then change your Trust from non-taxable to taxable and send you a ‘notice to complete’ for the Tax Return. If the Trust stops generating an income altogether, then you can update HMRC and request that future notices are not sent.

The Trustees of the Trust are the ones who are responsible for ensuring that the Tax Returns are submitted on time to HMRC and the ones responsible for ensuring that the tax is paid.

Dealing with Tax Returns and HMRC can be a very daunting task indeed. Here at Wilson Browne Solicitors, our Private Client Team has many years of experience dealing with this and many other things that fall under the category of Trust Administration.

Contact our New Enquiries Team on 0800 088 6004 to book an appointment with an expert and put your mind at rest!

Samantha Stooke


Samantha Stooke


Working within the Private Client team, based at Kettering, Samantha is responsible for carrying out essential Trust and Estate administration tasks. Her work includes: Preparing Deeds of Appointment, transferring Trust assets, reviewing and registration of Trusts with the HMRC, supporting Trustees, liaising with Beneficiaries, managing…