The decision of Burgess v Burgess is another case which considers conflicts of interest in the context of paying super death benefits. It follows a number of recent similar cases, including Re Narumon Pty Ltd, Brine v Carter and McIntosh v McIntosh. The strong consistent theme across all of these cases is that the Courts will strictly uphold fiduciary duties (even if they have “unfair” outcomes).
As part of the Victorian State Budget, a number of stamp duty changes have been proposed, many of which have received significant media attention (including the abolition of the off the plan duty concession for investors, the abolition of stamp duty for some first home buyers, and the removal of the blanket duty exemption for transfers between spouses).
Australia has for a long time been one of the only common law countries to enshrine a lawyer’s immunity from suit. The common law principle provides lawyers with an immunity from any claim made against them for negligence arising out of their conduct of a Court case and/or work undertaken outside of Court that results in a decision affecting the conduct of the case in Court.
It’s hard to know what to do with a budget handed down by a Government that will not have enough time to pass any measures before it goes into an election. Do you follow the current laws or the laws as they are proposed to be changed in the future (if the Government is re-elected and if it can pass the measures in the newly constituted parliament)? That is the situation we currently find ourselves in with the proposed super changes and in particular the lifetime non-concessional contributions cap.
We have previously noted in our Snippets in September and December 2015 that, under the legislation to introduce the new managed investment trust rules, it was proposed that self managed superannuation fund(s) (SMSFs) (and other exempt entities that are entitled to a refund of excess imputation credits) be excluded from the 20% tracing rule for the public trading trust rules. This would have resulted, from 1 July 2016, in the public trading trust rules not applying to unit trusts merely because a SMSF held more than 20% of the units in the trust.
n Fischer & Ors v Nemeske Pty Ltd & Ors ( HCA 11;  NSWSC 203), the High Court yesterday upheld the decisions of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and Court of Appeal.
The High Court’s decision confirmed that the resolution of a trustee of a discretionary trust to distribute an amount equal to the value of shares owned by the trustee to a beneficiary (Nemes) created a debt payable upon demand enforceable against the trustee by Nemes’ executor upon Nemes’ death.
Practical Compliance Guidelines PCG 2016/5 Income tax - arm's length terms for Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements established by self managed superannuation funds (Guideline) sets out further guidance as to how existing non-commercial limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) loans from related parties to self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) can be put on commercial terms by 30 June 2016. If such loans are on commercial terms by that date and with effect for the 2015/16 year then the ATO will accept that such loans are on commercial terms and that they will not trigger the application of the non-arm’s length income (NALI) rules. The ATO has said that it will not select an SMSF for a review purely on the basis that it had a loan on a non-commercial basis for previous years.
The ATO has released Practical Compliance Guidelines PCG 2016/5 Income tax - arm's length terms for Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements established by self managed superannuation funds (Guideline) which sets out 2 safe harbours for limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) loans from related parties to self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). If such loans comply with the terms of the safe harbours then the ATO will accept that such loans are on commercial terms and that they will not trigger the application of the non-arm’s length income (NALI) rules.