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High Court decision means Government must legislate on trusts

Publication date: 30 Mar 10 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The country's leading professional association in tax, the Taxation Institute of Australia, says today's High Court decision in the Bamford case regarding the taxation of trusts makes it imperative that the Federal Government step in with 21st Century legislation.

The Institute says the High Court judgement clarifies two issues but leaves other key issues unresolved.

"The Government must step in with a legislative solution or an estimated one million trusts will remain in the dark," said Institute president David Williams.

The High Court itself stated that it is more than 20 years since the courts first identified the need for legislative clarification in this area of tax law. Taxpayers will continue to face uncertainty in the area until there is a legislative fix of the 50-year-old provisions.

The Government should grasp this opportunity to re-write the trust income provisions of the tax law to align it with the enormous changes that have occurred since it was drafted, as part of their ongoing reform process.

"The Federal Government must update the whole system of taxing trusts," Mr Williams said.

"Mulling over a High Court decision that hasn't provided all the answers is not an option."

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About the Taxation Institute of Australia: The Taxation Institute is Australia's largest and most diverse body of tax professionals working together to improve the tax system and the delivery of tax services through education, sharing of information and consultation.

Media Contacts:

Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel - Taxation Institute of Australia on 0468 987 300
Craig Regan - Lighthouse Communications (0408) 448 527