How to fill in the Trust and Estate Tax Return

If you're a trustee of a trust that has received income or made chargeable gains you must complete a Trust and Estate Tax Return at the end of the tax year. Whether you're submitting an online or a paper return use this step-by-step guide to help you.

Step one - make sure you've got the right pages

In addition to the main Trust and Estate Tax Return (form SA900) there are some supplementary pages you may need - depending on the nature of the trust. For example, if the trust has made chargeable gains you must complete the Capital Gains supplementary pages - form SA905. If the trust receives foreign income you must complete the Trust and Estate Foreign supplementary pages - form SA904.

If you're submitting a paper return, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may not automatically send you these additional pages. You can find out which pages you'll need by checking the list on page 3 of the Trust and Estate Tax Return.

You can download any additional pages and the guidance notes that go with them using the link below. You can also order them from the Self Assessment Orderline.

If you're filing online, the software you use should provide the necessary pages based on the questions you answer. However you'll need to check this with your software provider.

You can find out more about different ways to submit your return in the guide below - 'The Trust and Estate Tax Return: paper or online'.

SA900 Trust and Estate Tax Return, guidance notes and supplementary pages

The Trust and Estate Tax Return: paper or online

The Self Assessment Orderline

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Step two - collect the information you need

You'll have to get together all the information you'll need to fill in the Trust and Estate Tax Return. For example, details of:

  • interest and dividends received
  • rents received and associated expenses
  • management expenses of accumulation/discretionary trusts
  • assets - such as a house or land - sold by the trust
  • distributions made by trustees of settlor-interested trusts to non settlor beneficiaries
  • distributions made by the trustees from accumulation/discretionary trusts
  • assets or funds settled into the trust

Trust record keeping for tax purposes

Trust Income Tax reliefs and deductions

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Step three - complete the return

Once you've got the pages and the information you need you can fill in your Trust & Estate Tax Return and any supplementary pages.

Use the links below for tips on completing your Trust and Estate Tax Return.

Avoid making common mistakes on the trust return

SA900 Trust and Estate Tax Return, guidance notes and supplementary pages

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Step four - calculate the tax

The next step is to work out how much tax is due.

If you're submitting a return online

Some software that you can buy will work out the tax for you based on the figures you've entered on the form. If the software you buy doesn't do this, you may have to do the calculation yourself and then enter the figures on the form. If you file online and:

  • you work out the tax calculation yourself the deadline is 31 January
  • you're not working out the tax calculation yourself, the deadline is 31 October.

If you miss the deadlines you might also get a £100 penalty for filing late.

If you're completing a paper return

If you want HMRC to do the calculation for you, you'll need to send your paper return to HMRC by 31 October. If you send a paper return after 31 October you'll miss the filing deadline and you'll need to do the calculation yourself. If you miss the deadlines you might also get a £100 penalty for filing late.

What if you don't have the exact figures?

If you don't have exact figures you can use:

  • an estimate - a figure you want HMRC to accept as your final figure
  • a provisional figure - one you want to use until you can confirm the actual amount (you must tell HMRC when you can do this)

Use the 'Additional Information' section to say how you arrived at these figures and why you can't use actual figures. If you make adjustments later and you've underpaid tax you might have to pay interest and penalties.

SA900 Trust and Estate Tax Return, guidance notes and supplementary pages

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Step five - submit the return


Finally, you can send your Trust and Estate Tax Return by:

  • filing online
  • sending it to HMRC Trusts & Estates - you can find the address by following the link below.

Contact HMRC Trusts & Estates

Remember, if you're completing a paper return you must send it in by the 31 October deadline. If you file online and work out the tax yourself the deadline is 31 January. If you miss the deadline, penalties will be charged even if you have no tax to pay or have paid the tax you owe.

Find out more about different ways to send your return in the guide below.

The Trust and Estate Tax Return: paper or online

Tax return deadlines and penalties

Contact HMRC Trusts & Estates

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If you've got a problem completing the tax return

If you have a query when completing your Trust and Estate Tax return and can't find what you need online you can phone the Trusts & Estates Helpline. However, before contacting them read the guide on how to avoid common errors.

Avoid making common mistakes on the trust return

Contact HMRC Trusts & Estates

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Get professional help for your trust

Understanding trusts can be difficult so you may want to work with a solicitor or tax adviser. Remember though that the trustee is still legally responsible for the trust's tax affairs. You'll find some links below to professional organisations - although not all professionals are registered with them.

If you want HMRC to communicate with your agent or professional representative on Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax matters, you'll need to fill in form 64-8. Follow the link below to find out more about completing form 64-8.

If you want HMRC to communicate with your agent or professional representative on Inheritance Tax issues you'll need to enter their details on form IHT100.

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of England and Wales website (Opens new window)

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Northern Ireland website (Opens new window)

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland website (Opens new window)

Get help from the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners - STEP website (Opens new window)

Find out more about completing form 64-8

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More useful links

How to pay Self Assessment

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