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On 22 October 2014, Adrian O’Shannessy FTI (Greenwoods & Freehills) attended the inaugural meeting of the ATO’s Trusts Limited Life Working Group 2: Widely Held Trusts. At the meeting, various issues were discussed, including:

  • Tax deferred distributions to unit holders on income account for some investors;
  • Bare trusts, following which the ATO plans to restate its position and confirm taxpayer practice of disregarding bare trusts, notwithstanding that the ATO does not necessarily share the view the law allows this;
  • Fixed trusts, following which the ATO agreed to consider what could be done to improve the status of current information published on the ATO website regarding when the Commissioner will exercise his discretion to at least treat publicly held unit trusts as fixed trusts or more broadly; and
  • CGT Event E4, following which it was concluded that a legislative amendment would be the preferred option to deal with the timing differences.

Members who seek further information in relation to the above should contact us at Tax Policy.