Published on 01 Oct 04
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
Family Trust Elections (FTEs) and Interposed Entity Elections (IEEs) emerged from the trust loss rules announced in the 1995 Federal Budget, and as they originally only applied to trust losses, very few trusts were affected and hence few FTEs and IEEs were made and lodged with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Recently, renewed interest in what was thought to be largely settled law caused professional bodies including the Taxation Institute of Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia to petition the Government to express their members' concerns relating to these complex provisions of the Act.
In response, the ATO issued Practice Statement PS LA 2004/1 (GA) on 15 April 2004, which applies to trusts which have elected to be family trusts for the purposes of the trust loss measures, company loss measures or the franking credit trading measures.
In light of these developments, it is both timely and important to revisit FTEs and IEEs and critically examine whether the ATO's Practice Statement represents an adequate response to the stated concerns. The Article seeks to undertake this examination and is structured in a practical question-and-answer format that will examine not only the theoretical issues but also, and more importantly, it will focus on the practical issues.