Trusts and Income Tax

A trust is an obligation that binds a trustee, an individual or a company to deal with the trust assets, such as land, money and shares, and which form part of the trust. The person who places assets into a trust is known as a settlor and the trust is for the benefit of one or more 'beneficiaries'.

The trustees make decisions about how the assets in the trust are to be managed, transferred or held back for the future use of the beneficiaries. They are also responsible for reporting and paying tax on behalf of the trust. A trust needs to be registered with HMRC if it pays or owes tax.

Different types of trust income have different rates of Income Tax. For example, in respect of accumulation or discretionary trusts the trustees are responsible for paying tax on income received. The first £1,000 is taxed at the standard rate. For trust income over £1,000, the rate is 39.35% for dividend-type income and 45% for all other income.

With reference to interest in possession trusts, the trustees are also responsible for paying tax on income received. The rate is 8.75% for dividend-type income and 20% for all other income.

There are also different rules for bare trusts, settlor-interested trusts and other types of trusts. It is therefore important that the Income Tax rules are considered at the outset as well as the CGT implications of the various types of trusts.

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