The majority of trusts are non-taxpaying and therefore are not required to submit a tax return. Consequently, HMRC does not have enough data to be able to estimate the total number of trusts established to protect beneficiaries of inherited wealth.
The number of UK Family Trusts and estates which are required to complete a full Self-Assessment return has remained broadly steady at 163,000 in 2011-12. Being able to protect family assets, providing for vulnerable beneficiaries and passing assets on to children and grandchildren are the main reasons for creating a trust.
Approximately 1000 trusts pay ten year anniversary and exit charges each year and the IHT HMRC receives from these trusts averages out at approximately £65 million per annum. The average value of assets held in trusts paying ten year anniversary and exit charges is approximately £2 million.