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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Heritage, charitable or business-related trusts

Apart from UK family trusts there are other types of trust you might want to know about. Here is a list of some of the more common ones with links to where you can get further information about the tax implications.

Flat management company trusts or sinking funds

Many tenants and owners of flats make payments into funds to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the property - and sometimes to build up money for future repairs. These funds are known as service charge funds, flat management company trusts or sinking funds.

The person who receives the funds acts as a trustee - holding the funds and any income produced from them. The trustee will have to pay tax on any investment income they receive from these funds.

Use the link below to find out more about the tax treatment of flat management company trusts.

Employee benefit trusts

Employers can set up schemes for the benefit of their employees. These schemes are often funded through a trust. There are several types. The main ones are:

  • general employee benefit trusts - contributions are used to provide general benefits or bonuses, sick pay or medical expenses, education or training
  • employer financed retirement benefits schemes (EFRBs) - the employer makes contributions and the trustees pay out benefits when a member retires or dies
  • employee share scheme trusts - companies set up a share plan via a trust to buy shares for the benefit of employees

Use the link below to find out more about the tax treatment of employee benefit trusts.

You can find out more about the tax treatment of employee benefit trusts in HMRC’s technical guidance - Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual.

Heritage maintenance funds

These are trusts set up to help maintain historic land and buildings and their contents. If you're the trustee of a heritage maintenance fund, and you want to find out more about Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax on these types of trusts, contact the Trusts and Estates Office at the following address:

HMRC Trusts
1st Floor
Ferrers House
Castle Meadow Road

Charitable trusts

A charitable trust is a type of trust set up for a cause or purpose that will benefit a large group of people or society in general, not specific individuals. Such a trust is considered to be for the benefit of the public and so qualifies for tax reliefs that private trusts don’t get.

Investment trusts and unit trusts

Investment trusts are companies that invest in the shares of other companies. Investors pool money to buy a fixed number of shares that the trust issues when it launches. The shares in the trust are then invested in stocks and shares by a professional fund manager. An investment trust is not classed as a trust.

Unit trusts are another type of 'pooled investment'. A fund manager buys shares in a range of different companies and pools these in a fund. You then buy 'units' in the fund. A unit trust is classed as a trust.

Useful contacts

Provided by HM Revenue and Customs

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