A consistent theme this tax time is over claiming and under reporting. With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) getting more and more sophisticated in its data matching approaches, taxpayers can expect greater scrutiny where their claims are more than what is expected.  We now take a look at the key issues in respect of Trusts.  Read on for important information regarding the timing of trust resolutions and TFN reporting.

Timing of resolutions

Trustees (or directors of a trustee company) need to consider and decide on the distributions they plan to make by 30 June 2019 at the latest (the trust deed may actually require this to be done earlier).  Decisions made by the trustees should be documented in writing, preferably by 30 June 2019.

If valid resolutions are not in place by 30 June 2019, the risk is that the taxable income of the trust will be assessed in the hands of a default beneficiary (if the trust deed provides for this) or the trustee (in which case the highest marginal rate of tax would normally apply).

TFN reporting

Has your trust lodged TFN reports for all beneficiaries?

Trustees of closely held trusts have some additional reporting obligations outside the lodgement of the trust tax return each year.  The ATO is currently reviewing trustees to ensure their compliance with these obligations, particularly the requirement to lodge TFN reports for beneficiaries.

Where beneficiaries have quoted their TFN to the trustee, trustees are required to lodge a TFN report for each beneficiary.  The TFN report must be lodged by the end of the month following the end of the quarter in which a beneficiary quoted their TFN.  For example, if the trustee receives a beneficiary’s TFN in April, they must lodge a TFN report by the end of July.

Where a TFN has not been provided by a beneficiary, the trustee is required to withhold tax at a rate of 47% and pay this to the ATO.  The trustee must also lodge an annual report of all amounts withheld.

Failure to comply with the TFN reporting and withholding requirements may incur penalties.

If you are concerned about any of the issues raised, please call us – we would be happy to help you.

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only.  It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.

If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

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