Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts

The 4th and 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directives require each EU Member State to establish a Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts (CRBOT). The European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Trusts) Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) transposed those requirements into Irish law. The purpose of the Regulations is to provide transparency both in Ireland and the EU around who ultimately owns and controls Irish trusts. This will help to identify and tackle circumstances where trusts are being used to fund criminal and terrorist organisations.

The Irish Registrar of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts is the Revenue Commissioners. This role is separate to Revenue’s role in tax and customs administration.

For relevant trusts that were established on or before 23 April 2021, the registration deadline is 23 October 2021. Trusts established after 23 April 2021 are obliged to file 6 months after their establishment.

What trusts are required to register?

Relevant trusts must submit information to the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts (CRBOT) if the trustees are resident in the State or the trust is administered in the State. A relevant trust is an express trust established by deed or other declaration in writing. Certain arrangements are excluded from the scope of the Regulations including:

  • Approved occupational pension schemes
  • Approved retirement funds
  • Approved profit-sharing schemes or employee share ownership trusts
  • Trusts for restricted shares
  • The Haemophilia HIV Trust
  • Unit trusts

What is a beneficial owner?

Trustees must submit information in relation to each beneficial owner of the trust. In general, a beneficial owner is any one of the following:

  • Any individual who is entitled to a vested interest in the trust
  • A class of beneficiaries, such as a trust set up for the benefit of a group of beneficiaries
  • Any individual who has control over the trust
  • The settlor
  • The trustee
  • The protector

For discretionary trusts, if the interests are not vested in possession, remainder or reversion, whether or not the interest is defeasible in the capital of the relevant trust, the class of individuals is the beneficial owner, for example, the settlor’s children.

What information is required to be filed?

The following information must be filed where the beneficial owner is an individual:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)
  • Nationality
  • Country of Residence
  • Statement of the nature and extent of the interest held, or the nature and extent of control exercised

Where an individual is not Irish resident and does not have a PPSN, one of the following must be provided:

  • Foreign Tax Registration Number
  • Passport Number
  • National Identity Number

If a legal entity is a beneficiary of the relevant trust and registered on another Central Register in Ireland (for example the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies or, the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Irish Collective Asset Management Vehicles, Credit Unions and Unit Trusts) or on another Central Register in the EU, the information required to be included on the CRBOT for that legal entity is:

  • Name of the legal entity
  • Registered address of the legal entity
  • Statement of the nature and extent of the interest held, or the nature and extent of control exercised by it, in relation to the relevant trust
  • Filing number on the Central Register where they are already registered
  • Name of the Register on which they are already registered

If the legal entity’s beneficial ownership status is that of trustee, settlor or protector, then the option to enter details of another Central Register is not provided.

Registration requirements

Trustees or their agents can register for the CRBOT through the ‘Trust Register’ portal on ROS. Individuals who do not have a business tax registration number can register for the CRBOT through myAccount.

Tax agents acting in a representative capacity must submit a separate TAIN Link Notification on ROS for each trust registration and this must be signed by both the trustee and the agent. The TAIN Link Notification for the CRBOT is separate to the standard agent link form.

Additional requirements

Trustees of any trust within the scope of the Regulations must also take “all reasonable steps” to obtain and hold adequate, accurate and current information in respect of the trust’s beneficial owners.  The trustees must also establish and maintain an internal “beneficial ownership register” for the trust. This internal register is separate from the requirement to file with CRBOT.