Two million UK trusts to be registered under new anti-money laundering rules

24/10/2018 News Team

The number of registerable trusts under the EU's Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) is set to increase from around 200,000 to two million, according to the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT).

This comes as the UK’s online Trust Registration Service (TRS), to cover express trusts without any tax consequences, is extended until  2020.

The UK has until 10 January 2020 to incorporate 5AMLD into domestic law, and then must implement the trust registration requirements by 10 March 2020. 

The TRS was set up last year to meet the requirements of the EU's Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which was transposed into UK law in June 2017. Currently, the registration and updating requirement only applies to express trusts with a tax consequence, but 5AMLD removes the tax consequence criterion.

This could include trusts connected with financial products such as life policies, shareholder protection policies, whole of life policies, discounted gift trusts, and perhaps even all property owned jointly including land and bank accounts, says the ATT.

It also brings into scope non-EU resident trusts that own UK real estate or that have a business relationship with an entity obliged to carry out customer due-diligence in the UK, such as a bank, estate agent, accountant, or solicitors.

A consultation on the initial policy changes, including penalties, is expected in late 2018 or early 2019, with a further consultation on the draft regulations in spring or summer 2019.


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