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The ATO has published a Decision Impact Statement in relation to the decision of the Federal Court in Yazbek v FCT [2013] FCA 39; 2013 ATC 20-371; (2013) 209 FCR 416.

The case concerned whether an individual was a "beneficiary of a trust estate" during the 2005 income year and, if so, whether the Commissioner had a 4 year period to issue an amended assessment under s 170 ITAA 1936.

The Federal Court held that the common usage of the term "beneficiary" includes any person for whose benefit the trust is to be administered and who is entitled to enforce the trustee's obligation to administer the trust according to its terms. It therefore includes the potential object of a discretionary trust. Therefore, the Court concluded that the Commissioner was within time to issue the amended assessment, because it had been issued within the 4 year period.


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