Tax trusts in focus: navigating the complexities of wealth management for SMEs

Published: 1 Jul 2024


Dr Julianne Jacques accepts the Tax Adviser of the Year Award, 2020

Small businesses play a significant role in the Australian economy, accounting for almost half of employment in the private non-financial sector and over a third of production.

As the complexities of wealth management for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) continue to evolve, tax professionals face a dynamic landscape influenced by an aging population, intricate family structures, and ever-changing tax legislation. The Tax for Trusts subject equips professionals with the expertise to unravel the nuances, evaluate implications, and provide strategic advice on many trust-related issues. This comprehensive subject, tailored for SME perspectives, not only addresses the intricacies of tax laws but also emphasises practical applications in distribution resolutions.


Content highlights

Delivered through a distance learning format, the Tax for Trusts: from an SME perspective subject forms an integral part of the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law and the Graduate Certificate in Applied Tax Advisory programs. The subject spans a comprehensive curriculum designed to empower tax professionals with a range of skills essential for SME-focused wealth management.

Key Modules:

ITAA – Taxation of Trusts: Covering essential roles and responsibilities of advisers, knowledge of trust concepts, and understanding the tax law for trusts and estates, this module sets the groundwork for a profound understanding of trust taxation.

Trust Dealings: From establishing trusts to exploring the tax consequences of trust creation, this module dives into the practical aspects of trust dealings, addressing choices that shape trustee decisions.

Costs and Benefits of Planning Choices: Evaluating the scope of choices in trust accounts, streaming trust distributions, and the role of trusts in business succession planning, this module provides insights into planning choices with real-world implications.

Trusts and CGT: An overview of CGT provisions, core concepts, and planning considerations for trust estates, this module delves into the critical area of Capital Gains Tax in the context of trusts.

Tax Controversy: Addressing recent changes such as Section 100A ITAA1936 and the Commissioner's announcements, this module navigates complex areas like trust distributions to corporate beneficiaries and capital gain distributions to non-resident beneficiaries.

Case Studies: Applying theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, this module ensures tax professionals can confidently manage CGT in deceased estate trusts, trust distributions, Div7A, and Section 100A risks.

Testimonials: Real-World Impact

Marianne Dakhoul, Associate at Brown Wright Stein Lawyers, Sydney NSW

Marianne's choice to undertake the Tax for Trusts subject was influenced by the prevalence of trust-related issues in the legal practice she works in. The tailored nature of the subject to her daily work has empowered her to apply trust taxation knowledge effectively, enhancing her ability to provide valuable legal advice to clients.

Yuxi Dedic, Supervisor at Martin and Martin Consulting Pty Ltd; Canterbury VIC

Yuxi's interest in trusts led her to select Tax for Trusts as an elective. The subject not only served as a knowledge refresher for daily tasks but also elevated her understanding of less-frequently practiced aspects such as trust vesting and capital gains distribution to non-residents. Yuxi's application of her newfound knowledge highlights the real-world impact of the subject.

Practical application and assessment

The subject includes assessments through module quizzes, a letter of advice, and a final exam. Prerequisites for enrolment are an Australian Degree or Diploma, CTA1 Foundations, CTA2A Advanced, and CTA2B Advanced subjects (or equivalent), along with 12 months of relevant Australian tax or tax law experience.

Bridging knowledge and application

The Tax for Trusts: from an SME perspective subject serves as a pivotal resource for tax professionals navigating the intricate landscape of wealth management for SMEs. With a focus on practical application, real-world testimonials, and a curriculum that addresses the unique challenges faced by SMEs, the unit empowers professionals to make informed decisions in the ever-evolving world of trust taxation.


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