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HMRC's trust registration service goes live for agents

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The new online trust registration service (TRS) finally became available to agents, albeit in a limited form, on 17 October. Agents will have to set up a new ‘agent services account’ as part of gaining full access to the system.

HMRC launched the TRS for trustees in July and has extended the penalty deadline for first-time registrations by two months from 5 October until 5 December 2017. For certain trusts, beneficial ownership information will need to be submitted by 31 January 2018.

The new agent services account is still in development as part of making tax digital for business (MTDfB), rather than fully integrated with the government gateway at this stage. HMRC have provided the following guidance to the ATT and CIOT on how to request an agent services account purely for TRS purposes:

‘The agent will be asked to create an agent services account, and the agents will be directed to request access to the trust registration service by email. The agent will receive a response from HMRC giving them access to agent services and some guidance on what to do next. Once they have created an agent services account they will be directed to the trusts registration iform.

‘In registering for an agent services account, they will have been identified as seeking to access the TRS, and will not be offered the option of linking existing government gateway IDs and client relationships. This is only undertaken by agents participating in the controlled go live of MTDfB.’

The ATT and CIOT have pointed out that, as the agent services account will be the central point of contact with HMRC in the future, it may not be appropriate for this to be set up by a trust team without consulting the wider firm.

The ATT is seeking confirmation that the agent services account set up this way should acquire all the future functionality of agent services when these are fully rolled-out.