On 19 February 2015, the ATO issued Practice Statement PS LA 2015/2 entitled "Trustee assessments".
The Practice Statement explains the ATO's practice of limiting the time in which it will raise an original income tax assessment for a trustee.
The Practice Statement says that the ATO will not issue an original trustee assessment:
- more than four years after the relevant trust tax return was lodged, or
- for the income year ended 30 June 2014 and later income years, more than two years after lodgment if the trust is a small business entity4 for that year and none of the qualifications in item 3 of the table in s 170(1) ITAA 1936 apply.
However, these time limits do not apply:
- if the trustee has not lodged a trust return for the year in question
- if the Commissioner is of the opinion that there has been fraud or evasion
- where an extended or unlimited amendment period would apply5, or
- where the time limit is extended in agreement with the trustee after commencement of examination of the affairs of the trust.