Trust Tax Return.

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If you're a business owner or indiviudal who has established a trust, it's crucial to understand the particular tax responsibilities associated with maintaing the trust. Among these, annually lodging the trust tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is paramount. Your trust tax return provides essential details about the trust's earnings, expenses, tax credits, and other financial particulars necessary for the ATO to evaluate the trust's tax obligations.

At Causbrooks, we're committed to guiding you through every step, making sure that your trust fulfills its tax obligations without any hassle.

How Causbrooks can assist you with your Tax Return

At Causbrooks, we recognise the importance of accurate and timely trust tax return filing. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that your trust's tax responsibilities are managed efficiently, offering you both compliance and peace of mind.

Assessing your trust's tax obligations

We begin by evaluating whether your trust needs to file a tax return, taking into account the type of trust and its sources of income. This initial step is vital to fulfill all legal requirements accurately.

Maximising your trust tax deductions

Our experts will meticulously examine your trust's financial records. This detailed approach ensures that all pertinent income and deductions are accurately reported, which is crucial for the correct preparation of the tax return.

Lodging your trust tax return

Our team will assist you in preparing and lodging your trust tax return through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) portal. We ensure that everything is submitted correctly to prevent any compliance issues.

Tracking deadlines

We monitor all critical filing deadlines to guarantee that your trust tax return is lodged on time. This proactive strategy helps avoid any penalties for late filing and maintains your trust's good standing.

Navigating Trust Tax Returns.

Keeping up with your tax responsibilities is key for any business owner in Australia to avoid fines and stay compliant. It's important to know when your company tax return is due for hassle-free financial management. Here's what you need to mark on your calendar:

Family Trust Elections.

Making a Family Trust Election (FTE) is a decision that should be carefully considered, especially if the trust's main goal is to stream franking credits to beneficiaries or if the trust has revenue losses.

It's important to remember that making a Family Trust Election (FTE) does not necessarily mean distributions can be made to every member of the family group; the trustee must refer to the trust deed to ensure that each person meets the definition of a beneficiary.

Other factors that may impact an effective distribution from a family trust include the trustee's power to determine income, the power to stream income and the trust's definition of beneficiaries. If you have any questions regarding Family Trust Elections (FTEs) or the operation of your family trust, it's recommended you seek legal advice. For more information about Family Trust Elections, read our article Understanding Family Trust Election in Australia.

Section 100A.

Section 100A (S.100A) is a provision in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and is an anti-avoidance rule. It applies to a situation where one person receives a benefit from a trust, but another person is made presently entitled to income and assessed. This rule is triggered when the present entitlement is connected to an agreement, arrangement or understanding, a benefit is provided to someone else, and at least one party had a purpose of reducing or deferring income tax.

If Section 100A applies, the beneficiary’s entitlement is disregarded and the trustee is assessed on the beneficiary’s share of the trust's taxable income at the top marginal rate. For more information about how Section 100A may impact your family trust, see our series of articles on Section 100A: Family Trust Distributions: ATO New Guidelines for Section 100A, Section 100A changes: trust distributions to the controllers of a discretionary trust, Section 100A changes: trust distributions to adult children and grandparents.

Due Dates for Trust Tax Return Submission and Payment.

At Causbrooks, our focus is on making the trust tax return process straightforward for business owners and investors alike. With our comprehensive experience we ensure your trust tax returns are handled efficiently and meet all ATO standards.

Important Submission Deadlines for Trust Tax Returns in Australia.

The lodgement due dates for trust tax returns are as follows:

Due Dates for Trust Tax Payments.

Keeping on top of your trust tax payment dates in Australia is crucial for maintaining a hassle-free financial management process. We have outlined the key payment deadlines, which vary depending on when your submission is completed:

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Penalties for Late Trust Tax Return Lodgements.

Lodging your trust tax return on time is crucial to avoid penalties. It's important for trustees to be aware of the mistakes that can lead to fines. Here's a look at what to watch out for:

Missing the Deadline.

For late submissions, small businesses and individuals might face a fine of up to $900 for each return or statement, while larger businesses could be fined up to $4,500.

Incorrect Reporting of Distributions.

If you report trust distributions incorrectly, you could be fined between 20 and 60 penalty units, with each unit costing $313.

Lodging your Trust Return Late.

If you submit your tax return form late, the fine starts at $10 for every week or part of a week after the due date, up to a maximum of $200.

Failure to Provide the Correct Information to the ATO.

If you fail to provide the ATO with the required information, you could be fined at an annual rate of 8% on the amount you didn't disclose. Penalties can vary based on individual situations and how serious the mistake is. It's important to follow the ATO's guidelines and maybe get professional help to make sure you're doing everything right.

Key Taxes in Trust Tax Returns.

When lodging a trust tax return in Australia, you need to know about the main taxes that must be reported. Trusts have to deal with several tax duties including income tax, Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Goods and Services Tax (GST), Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), and Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding. Reporting these taxes correctly is key to following Australian tax laws.

Income Tax Details.

Trusts are taxed at 47.5% on income they earn, such as from investments or renting out property, if that income isn't given to beneficiaries. When income is given out to beneficiaries, they must report it on their personal tax returns.

Capital Gains Tax Info.

Trusts may have to pay CGT if they sell assets such as property or shares and make a profit. The CGT is based on the difference between what the asset was bought and sold for. If the trust has had the asset for more than 12 months, it may get a discount on the CGT. Beneficiaries may also need to deal with CGT if they get capital gains from the trust.

About GST.

Trusts that are registered for GST need to report the GST they've collected from sales and can claim back GST on what they've bought. This is done through the Business Activity Statement (BAS), not the tax return. For more information about BAS see our article What is a Business Activity Statement, and for more information about GST, see our article on Claiming GST Credits.

Fringe Benefits Tax.

If a trust gives non-cash benefits to its employees or beneficiaries, such as a company car, it may need to pay FBT. This is separate from income tax and is reported on the trust's tax return. Fore more about FBT, see our article What is FBT? An employer’s guide to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).

PAYG Withholding Rules.

If a trust has employees or pays certain contractors, it needs to hold back some tax from their payments and send this to the ATO. This amount needs to be reported on the trust's tax return. For more information about PAYG, see our article PAYG withholding and PAYG instalments.

These are the main taxes that trusts may need to report on their tax returns in Australia. Tax laws can be complex, so it's often a good idea to get professional advice from a tax expert to make sure you're meeting all your tax duties.

About Causbrooks.

At Causbrooks, we take pride in how our trust tax return services have helped a wide range of clients, from small businesses to family-owned companies. Our team offers the advice and support you need to ensure your trust tax return is completed accurately, covering everything from reporting income and claiming deductions to handling distributions to beneficiaries. We focus on making the tax return process clear and straightforward, particularly when it comes to responsibilities and obligations related to trusts.


Any advice contained in this document is general advice only and does not take into consideration the reader’s personal circumstances. Any reference to the reader’s actual circumstances is coincidental. To avoid making a decision not appropriate to you, the content should not be relied upon or act as a substitute for receiving financial advice suitable to your circumstances.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Contact us today to learn more about how our accounting services can benefit your business. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve financial success!

Lodge your returns now

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Our team will reach out to you as soon as possible
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