As we approach 30 June, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced that it is reviewing adherence to trustee obligations including the lodgment of tax file number (TFN) reports for TFN withholding for closely held trusts.
The Victorian Supreme Court in the decision of MD Commercial Pty Ltd & AJ Commercial Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue  VSC 560 confirmed that certain transfers of land to trustees were not exempt from duty under section 35 of the Duties Act 2000.
We have previously written (see here and here) about the Tax Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan Base Rate Entities) Bill 2017 (the Bill) that proposes to deny the lower 27.5% corporate tax rate to corporate tax entities with less than $25 million of turnover that derive predominantly (80% or more) passive income (‘base rate entity passive income’) has not been debated by the Parliament since 12 February 2018.
On 15 August 2018, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) updated Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG) 2017/13 to extend its application to Division 7A sub-trust arrangements adopted in accordance with Practice Statement Law Administration 2010/4 (PS LA 2010/4) that mature in the 2019 income year.
In Ellison v Sandini Pty Ltd  FCAFC 44, the Full Federal Court overturned decision which allowed Mr Sandini (the Taxpayer) to benefit from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) marriage breakdown rollover for the transfer of shares to an entity controlled by his former spouse, pursuant to a Family Court Order (FCO).
The Commissioner issued Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2017/D10 “Income Tax: Trust Vesting – amending the vesting date and consequences of a trust vesting” on 13 December 2017.
The views in TR 2017/D10 are not materially different from those expressed at recent public forums, although TR 2017/D10 states those views in an administratively binding form and provides further detail (including several examples).
As previously reported in June this year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) published the Draft Taxation Determination TD 2017/D1 altering their previous published interpretation of the meaning of “distributes” for the purposes of the family trust distribution tax (FTDT).
The draft tax determination has now been published in its final form as TD 2017/20, confirming that FTDT can apply where there is a “distribution” to a person who is not a beneficiary of the trust.
The concept of “present entitlement” within the meaning of section 97 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and validity of a “disclaimer of entitlement of income” were considered by the Full Federal Court in the recent case of Lewski v Commissioner of Taxation  FCAFC 145 (Lewski) that illustrates the importance of having trust law and taxation law concepts properly aligned. Lewski was an appeal from a decision of the Administrative Affairs Tribunal.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) published the final version of the Practical Compliance Guidelines (PCG) 2016/16, which provides guidance in relation to what will be considered by the Commissioner when exercising his discretion to treat an interest in the income or capital of a trust as being a fixed entitlement and by extension whether a trust is a fixed trust for the purposes of the tax law.
Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG) 2017/13 confirms the ability for a sub-trust arrangement using the 7-year option 1 investment agreement to be converted into a compliant loan, as described under section 109-N of Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 36). The ability to refinance UPE for an additional 7 years may be advantageous to taxpayers that would otherwise have been required to repay such arrangements by either 30 June 2017 or 30 June 2018.
In September 2016, an article written by Sladen Legal's Phil Broderick, Will Monotti and Ashleigh Eynaud was published in the Tax Institute’s Journal, Taxation in Australia.
This article addresses how trust deed variation clauses vary from trust to trust and gives examples of some of the problematic ones we’ve seen.