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Trust Tax Return Compliance: A Guide

Posted on May 6, 2024 by admin

Managing a trust comes with its share of responsibilities, especially regarding tax compliance.

To assist trustees and administrators, the ATO has provided a checklist that can be used to streamline the tax process. This is a crucial tool for ensuring that the trust’s affairs are managed efficiently and effectively in accordance with tax regulations.

Let’s delve deeper into what the Resolutions Checklist entails:

  1. Distribution Resolutions: One of the primary tasks is to determine how income will be distributed among beneficiaries for the financial year. This resolution must be documented and finalised before 30 June to optimise tax outcomes for the trust and its beneficiaries. Trustees must consider each beneficiary’s tax position and financial circumstances when making distribution decisions.
  2. Trustee Resolutions: Trustee decisions throughout the year, such as acquisitions or disposals of trust assets, loan agreements, or changes to the trust deed, need to be documented and ratified through resolutions. These resolutions serve as formal acknowledgments of the decisions made by the trustees and provide a clear record of the trust’s activities.
  3. Trust Income Allocation: Trust income comprises various components, including assessable income, exempt income, and deductions. Trustees must accurately determine and record each component to ensure compliance with tax laws. Proper recording and reporting of income and expenses are essential for tax purposes and may impact the tax liabilities of both the trust and its beneficiaries.
  4. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Considerations: Trustees must review any CGT events during the year and determine the distribution of capital gains or losses among beneficiaries. CGT decisions can significantly affect the tax outcomes for both the trust and its beneficiaries, making careful consideration and documentation are essential.
  5. Streaming Resolutions: Some trust deeds allow for income streaming, which involves allocating specific types of income to beneficiaries based on their individual tax preferences or circumstances. Trustees need to make resolutions to implement income streaming effectively, considering the trust deed provisions and tax implications.
  6. Minutes and Records: All trustee resolutions and decisions must be documented in writing, including minutes of meetings and any supporting documentation. Proper record-keeping is crucial for demonstrating compliance with tax regulations and providing an audit trail of the trust’s activities.
  7. Trust Deed Review and Update: Regular review and, if necessary, updating of the trust deed are essential to ensure that it remains compliant with current laws and regulations. Trust deeds should accurately reflect the intentions of the trustees and beneficiaries and provide a solid legal foundation for the trust’s operations.

Trustees can streamline the tax compliance process and minimise the risk of errors or oversights.

However, seeking professional advice is essential if you’re unsure about any aspect of trust management or tax obligations. With proper planning, documentation, and compliance, trustees can ensure that their trusts operate smoothly and remain compliant with tax laws.

Why not start a conversation with us today to find out how we could assist you with your trust documentation?

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The Instant Asset Write-Off Continues To The 2024-25 Financial Year

Posted on May 28, 2024 by admin

In a move aimed at bolstering small business cash flow and reducing compliance costs, the Government has announced an extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off for another 12 months.

This extension, part of the 2024–25 Budget released on 14 May 2024, will see the measure continue until 30 June 2025.

This initiative allows small businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million to immediately deduct the full cost of eligible assets costing less than $20,000. To qualify, these assets must be first used or installed and ready for use between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2025.

Eligibility

Eligibility to use instant asset write-off on an asset depends on:

You are not eligible to use the instant asset write-off on an asset if your aggregated turnover is $500 million or more.

If temporary full expensing applies to the asset, you do not apply the instant asset write-off.

How Does It Work?

The $20,000 threshold applies on a per-asset basis, providing substantial flexibility for small businesses to acquire and immediately write off multiple assets. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses looking to upgrade equipment, invest in new technology, or make other capital improvements without the burden of prolonged depreciation.

The immediate deduction is unavailable for assets valued at $20,000 or more. However, these higher-cost assets can still be placed into the small business simplified depreciation pool. This method allows businesses to depreciate the asset at a rate of 15% in the first income year and 30% each year thereafter, providing a structured yet advantageous depreciation timeline.

The continuation of this measure is designed to aid small businesses by improving their cash flow and reducing the administrative burden associated with asset depreciation.

By allowing immediate deductions on lower-cost assets, the government aims to incentivise investment and growth within the small business sector. However, this will be dependent on the individual circumstances of businesses as to whether or not they may benefit from this measure.

What About The Legislation Of This Measure? 

It’s important to note that while these measures have been announced, they are not yet law. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Support for Small Business and Charities and Other Measures) Bill 2023, which includes provisions for the $20,000 instant asset write-off for the 2023–24 income year, is still before Parliament.

Once passed, this legislation will formalise the extension and ensure small businesses can continue to benefit from these deductions through to the new deadline of 30 June 2025.

The $20,000 instant asset write-off extension could be a significant boost for small businesses, providing immediate financial relief and encouraging ongoing investment in business growth and development.

Small business owners should monitor the legislative process to ensure they can take full advantage of these provisions once they become law.

Speak With Us

If you have any questions about this measure or if it would be suited for your business, why not speak with one of our trusted team for answers? We are here to assist you with any questions or enquiries you may have in the lead-up to the end of the financial year.

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