Published on 01 Nov 13
by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE
Australian goods and services tax (GST) law casts its net widely. It sweeps up various legal persons and structures, through which various activities are carried out, including arrangements that do not ordinarily amount to legal persons. In particular, the central concept of “entity” is defined to include “a trust”. This article is concerned with the GST treatment of trusts and associated difficulties in the administration of the GST law. The article begins with a considered discussion of the basic tenets of “trusts” and the legal framework underpinning this concept. The article discusses the GST consequences of “bundling” trustee and custodial services (“trustee services”), and the practical difficulties and mischief that arise for both taxpayers and the Commissioner.
The article concludes by identifying possible solutions, and how these could have been implemented to resolve the mischief with the bundling of trustee services in the light of amendments made in 2012.