As we lead up to the end of the Financial Year, if you have a trust, please ensure that you make trustee resolutions to distribute the 2017/18 Trust income by 30 June 2018. Failure to do so could result in the undistributed income being taxed in the Trustee’s hand at 45%.
The manner of distributions are dictated or governed by your Trust deed. It is important that the trustees are familiar with the terms of their trust deed so that distributions can be made properly. The ATO has ruled that a written record is essential if you wish to effectively stream capital gains or franked dividends.
Most trust deeds contain a default beneficiary clause which makes that particular beneficiary entitled to the Trust’s income if no other resolution is made by the 30 June. Therefore if you wish to distribute to someone other than the default beneficiary, it is important to have a resolution in place by the 30 June. Depending on circumstances, it is easier to allocate distributions by percentages rather than fixed amounts. This will ensure that any tax adjustments that might lead to a different trust income reported at year end can still be distributed out without residual income caused by the adjustments.