• 2. Purpose of this statement of principles

    This statement of principles has been prepared to guide taxpayers, advisers and ATO decision makers on when the Commissioner will treat changes as giving rise to a new trust estate. It applies to trust estates with beneficiaries dealt with under Division 6 of Part III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. The decision of the High Court of Australia in Commissioner of Taxation v. Commercial Nominees of Australia Limited [2001] HCA 33 provides guidance in relation to changes made to superannuation entities. However, nothing that the High Court said is contrary to the principles stated here and the Commissioner will continue to apply this Statement of Principles in relation to changes made to other categories of trust estates.

    The statement is intended for general guidance and is not a public ruling for the purposes of the Tax Administration Act. It cannot cover all possibilities or the circumstances of every taxpayer. If you are in any doubt, you should contact us for assistance. The undertakings in the Taxpayers' Charter concerning ATO publications apply to this document.

    For some time this topic was classified by the ATO as an area of special focus, and there was a general restriction on the release of advice on the subject pending the ATO position being arrived at. This embargo is no longer in place and cases will be decided on the basis of these guidelines.

      Last modified: 20 Apr 2012QC 16266