Trusts - from the basics to the more complex - 2018 Queensland Tax Forum

Trusts remain on most practitioners’ radars, despite the lack of any meaningful reform in the space.

Impacting a wide range of areas, they remain both popular and complex.

At this year’s 2018 Queensland Tax Forum a number of sessions touch on trust issues, and here we look at two dedicated sessions dealing with them, and speak with the presenters.

On day one of the Forum, Matthew Burgess, CTA, (View Legal) presents the ‘Trusts Intensive’, part of the Forum’s dedicated stream for Young Tax Practitioners.

The income tax treatment of trusts can be complex and is often misunderstood. In his session, Matthew will explain some of the difficult aspects of trust taxation, providing some context and background to some of the common issues that need to be considered in practice.

Matthew said “Trusts are ubiquitous. This practically focused session is designed to provide immediately usable lessons. I’ll be covering key tax issues in relation to trusts, the fundamental practical issues in relation to trust structures, asset protection considerations in relation to trusts, and the impact on related areas. I’ll also be providing case study examples.”

While the session is aimed at those newer to the profession, it will provide a good grounding or refresher for others. Matthew will also look at the way in which beneficiaries are defined, trust-to-trust distributions and perpetuity rules, and the implications of failed distributions.

Matthew co-founded specialist firm View Legal in 2014, having been a lawyer and partner of one of Australia’s leading independent law firms for over 17 years. His passion is helping clients successfully achieve their goals. Matthew specialises in tax, estate and succession planning, providing strategic advice to business owners and high net worth individuals. He has been recognised in the 'Best Lawyers' list since 2014 in relation to trusts and estates and either personally or as part of View in ‘Doyles’ since 2015 in relation to taxation and 2017 in relation to wills, estates and succession planning.

Deep diving into a specific area of trusts is Andrew Smailes, CTA, (Australian Taxation Office with his session ‘Moving forward with a justified trust. What opportunities are just around the corner?’

Facilitated by Kate Locke (Suncorp), Andrew will look at the future of the ATO’s Justified Trust Program and some of the lessons learned.

The ATO is approaching the third year of its income tax justified trust initiatives, such as the Top 1,000 Tax Performance Program, and is commencing GST-justified trust initiatives, so it is time to reflect on the results from these programs, which have already fed into the Tax and Corporate Australia report.

Andrew said “This session should help delegates prepare for justified trust reviews in future and to understand how they can work with their clients to build tax risk management and governance processes that reflect the ATO's approach to justified trust.”

Andrew’s session will focus on the Key Taxpayer Engagement approach and the Top 1,000 program in brief, delivering some case studies around income tax, and looking at what is occurring in relation to GST and where to from here.

A Director in Public Groups and International at the ATO, Andrew’s specific focus on dealing with mainly Queensland-based corporate clients under the Top 1,000 Tax Performance Program. His previous experience spans work in Operations in Public Groups and International, dealing with large multinational businesses, as well as Private Groups and High Wealth Individuals, where he worked in active compliance roles and in Project DO IT. Prior to working at the ATO, he worked at a large national law firm and in government organisations.

These are just two of the 25 sessions from 2018’s Queensland Tax Forum program. Find out more about these and the other sessions across the two days of 23-24 August on our website.

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