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Introduction to trusts paper


A trust is a relationship or obligation between trustee and beneficiaries. Trusts are not entities yet for many purposes (including tax) they are treated in some ways as if they were. To properly understand the tax and other issues relating to trusts it is essential for an adviser to have a good understanding of the true nature of trusts, trustees and beneficiaries. Many of the recent cases concerning the taxing of beneficiaries or trustees in the Federal Court and AAT turn on trust law issues such as whether beneficiaries are presently entitled to income or whether a purported distribution of trust income has been actually made.

This paper gives tax advisers an overview of trusts in the non-tax world to assist them in their 'real' world of tax law. It is aimed at those who don't really understand what they were taught about trusts and who still have gaps in their understanding of trusts. It is also very useful for those who simply want a refresher on basic trust law. Topics covered include:

  • the nature of a trust
  • difference between trusts and other relationships and entities
  • types of trusts
  • creating and ending express trusts
  • advantages and disadvantages of using trusts for business and investment purposes
  • importance of distributions
  • presently entitled
  • absolutely entitled.

This paper was also presented by Michael Walpole at the 'Tax and Trusts: The Essential Trusts' seminars held in Sydney on 5 April 2006 and 27 February 2007.

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Author Photo - Arlene MACDONALD

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This was presented at Tax and Trusts: The Essential Basics .

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