Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill: islands communities impact assessment

An island communities impact assessment (ICIA) to consider the impact of the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill.

Step two – Gather your data and identify your stakeholders

What data is available about the current situation in the islands?

The trust is extremely important to Scotland. Whilst it is impossible to give a figure for the total number of trusts in Scotland, some figures are available.

The Trusts Registration Service had 198,000 trusts and estates registered up to 31 March 2022.[1] This includes taxable and non-taxable trusts, unless it is an excluded express trust. Using population estimates, this represents one trust for every approximately 339 inhabitants.[2] On the assumption that the number in Scotland is proportionate and using population estimates for mid-2020,[3] that means there would be approximately 16,123 trusts in Scotland.

The total Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax payable on UK-wide trusts and estates in the tax year ending 2021 was £1,455 million, increasing by around 5% from the previous tax year; the total income and chargeable gains of all trusts and estates in the same tax year was £6,510 million, an increase of around 7% from the previous tax year.[4]

It is not possible to further disaggregate the number of trusts by geographic location.

Do you need to consult?

No. We do not see a need to establish the impact of this new policy on islands. It is a legal institution which any natural or legal person can utilise. There is no compulsion to use a trust and for those not wishing to do so there are a range of alternative legal devices which may be considered and which remain unaffected by this Bill.

How does any existing data differ between islands?

Given the above mentioned difficulties obtaining data, we do not consider this question relevant.

Are there any existing design features or mitigations in place?

The policy is no different between the island community and the rest of Scotland. It will be up to individuals/businesses on whether they wish to raise finance by using the new registers which will make it easier and cheaper to do so.



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