Trusts often make non-assessable payments to beneficiaries.
If a profit made by the trust is not assessable, any part of that profit distributed to a beneficiary will also be non-assessable in most cases, for example, a share of a profit made on the sale of property acquired by the trust before 20 September 1985.
However, if you receive non-assessable payments from a trust, you may need to make cost base adjustments to your units or trust interest. Those adjustments will affect the amount of any capital gain or capital loss you make on the unit or interest, for example, when you sell it. If non-assessable payments exceed your cost base, you may also make a capital gain equal to the excess in the year the excess is paid to you.
Note that the non-assessable payments may be over a number of years and once the cost base is reduced to zero the excess is a capital gain in the year the excess arises.
Non-assessable payments from a managed fund to a unit holder are common and may be shown on your statement from the fund as:
- tax-free amounts
- CGT-concession amounts
- tax-exempted amounts
- tax-deferred amounts.
If you are a beneficiary in a trust which is subject to the new trust provisions relating to 'streaming' of capital gains and franked distributions, even if you are distributed an amount which is described as the CGT concession amount, you may be taken to have made a capital gain which you will need to include in your own net capital gain calculation.
For more information see Improving the taxation of trust income.
End of attentionYou may need to adjust the cost base and reduced cost base of your units depending on the kind of non-assessable payment you received.
Tax-free amounts relate to certain tax concessions received by the fund which enable it to pay greater distributions to its unit holders. If your statement shows any tax-free amounts, you adjust the reduced cost base (but not your cost base) of your units by these amounts. Payments of amounts associated with building allowances which were made before 1 July 2001 were treated as tax-free amounts.
CGT-concession amounts relate to the CGT discount component of any actual distribution. Such amounts do not affect your cost base and reduced cost base if they were received after 30 June 2001. A CGT-concession amount received before 1 July 2001 is taken off the cost base and reduced cost base.
Tax-exempted amounts are generally made up of:
- exempt income of the fund
- amounts on which the fund has already paid tax, or
- income you had to repay to the fund.
Such amounts do not affect your cost base and reduced cost base.
Tax-deferred amounts are other non-assessable amounts, including indexation received by the fund on its capital gains and accounting differences in income. You adjust the cost base and reduced cost base of your units by these amounts. Payments associated with building allowances which are made on or after 1 July 2001 are treated as tax-deferred amounts.
If the tax-deferred amount is greater than the cost base of your units, you include the excess as a capital gain. You can use the indexation method if you bought your units before 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999.
Capital loss
You cannot make a capital loss from a non-assessable payment.
End of attentionAs a result of recent stapling arrangements, some investors in managed funds have received units which have a very low cost base. The payment of certain non-assessable amounts in excess of the cost base of the units will result in these investors making a capital gain.
End of attentionNon-assessable payments under a demerger
If you receive a non-assessable payment under an eligible demerger, you do not deduct the payment from the cost base and the reduced cost base of your units or trust interest. Instead you adjust your cost base and reduced cost base according to the demerger rules.
You may make a capital gain on the non-assessable payment if it exceeds the cost base of your original unit or trust interest, although you will be able to choose a CGT rollover.
An eligible demerger is one that happens on or after 1 July 2002 and satisfies certain tests. The trust making the non-assessable payment will normally advise unit or trust interest holders if this is the case.
For more information about demergers, see Investments in shares and units.
End of attentionGenerally, you make any adjustment to the cost base and reduced cost base of your unit or trust interest at the end of the income year. However, if some other CGT event happens to the unit or trust interest during the year (for example, you sell your units), you must adjust the cost base and reduced cost base just before the time of that CGT event. The amount of the adjustment is based on the amount of non-assessable payments paid to you up to the date of sale. You use the adjusted cost base and reduced cost base to work out your capital gain or capital loss (see How to work out your capital gain or capital loss for more information).
The cost base and reduced cost base adjustments are more complex if you deducted capital losses from a grossed-up capital gain where a capital gain made by the trust was reduced by the small business 50% active asset reduction. If this applies to you, you may need to seek advice from us on how to make the adjustments.
If the tax-deferred amount is greater than the cost base of your unit or trust interest, you include the excess as a capital gain. You can use the indexation method if you bought your units or trust interest before 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999. However, if you do so, you cannot use the discount method to work out your capital gain when you later sell the units or trust interest.
Example 20: Bob has received a non-assessable amount
Bob owns units in OZ Investments Fund (a managed fund which has not elected to be subject to the new trust provisions) which distributed income to him for the 2011-12 income year. The fund gave him a statement showing his distribution meant that his share of the trust's net capital gain included:
- $100 calculated using the discount method (grossed-up amount $200)
- $75 calculated using the indexation method
- $28 calculated using the 'other' method.
These capital gains add up to $203.
The statement shows Bob's distribution did not include a tax-free amount, but it did include:
- $105 tax-deferred amount.
From his records, Bob knows that the cost base and reduced cost base of his units are $1,200 and $1,050 respectively.
Bob has no other capital gains or capital losses for the 2011-12 income year and no unapplied net capital losses from earlier years.
The following steps show how Bob works out the amounts to write on his tax return.
Step 1
As Bob has a share of a capital gain which the fund reduced under the CGT discount of 50% (so that his share was $100), he includes the grossed-up amount of his share ($200) in his total current year capital gains.
Step 2
Bob adds the grossed-up amount to his share of the trust's capital gains calculated using the indexation method and 'other' method to work out his total current year capital gains:
$200 + $75 + $28 = $303
Step 3
As Bob has no other capital gains or capital losses, and he must use the discount method for the capital gains calculated using the discount method from the trust, his net capital gain is equal to his share of the trust's net capital gain for tax purposes ($203).
Step 4
Bob completes item 18 on his tax return (supplementary section) as follows:
18 Capital gains |
You must also print X in the Yes box at G if you received a distribution of a capital gain from a trust |
||
Did you have a Capital gains tax event during |
G No Yes X |
||
Net capital gain |
A 203 |
||
Total current year capital gains |
H 303 |
||
Net capital losses carried forward to later income years |
V |
Records Bob needs to keep
The tax-deferred amount Bob received is not included in his income or his capital gains, but it affects the cost base and reduced cost base of his units in OZ Investments Fund for future income years.
Cost base |
$1,200 |
less tax-deferred amount |
$105 |
New cost base |
$1,095 |
Reduced cost base |
$1,050 |
less tax-deferred amount |
$105 |
New reduced cost base |
$945 |
Example 21: Ilena's capital loss is greater than her non-discounted capital gain
Ilena invested in XYZ Managed Fund (a managed fund which has not elected to be subject to the new trust provisions). The fund made a distribution to Ilena for the year ending 30 June 2011 and gave her a statement that shows her distribution meant that her share of the trust's net capital gain included:
- $65 discounted capital gain, and
- $90 non-discounted capital gain.
The statement shows Ilena's distribution also included:
- $30 tax-deferred amount
- $35 tax-free amount.
Ilena has no other capital gains, but made a capital loss of $100 on some shares she sold during the year. Ilena has no unapplied net capital losses from earlier years.
From her records, Ilena knows the cost base and reduced cost base of her units are $5,000 and $4,700 respectively.
Ilena has to treat the capital gain component of her share of the fund's net income for tax purposes as if she made the capital gain. To complete her tax return, Ilena must identify this capital gain component and work out her net capital gain.
The following steps show how Ilena works out the amount to write at H item 18 on her tax return (supplementary section).
Step 1
As Ilena has a share of a capital gain which the fund reduced by the CGT discount of 50% (her discounted share being $65), she must gross up her share of this capital gain. She does this by multiplying the amount of her share of the discounted capital gain by two:
$65 x 2 = $130
Step 2
Ilena adds her share of the trust's grossed-up and non-discounted capital gains to work out her total current year capital gains:
$130 + $90 = $220
She writes her total current year capital gains ($220) at H item 18 on her tax return (supplementary section).
Step 3
After Ilena has grossed up her share of the fund's discounted capital gain, she subtracts her capital losses from her capital gains.
Ilena can choose which capital gains she subtracts the capital losses from first. In her case, she gets the better result if she:
1 |
subtracts as much as possible of her capital losses (which were $100) from her non-discounted capital gains ($90). |
2 |
subtracts her remaining capital losses after step 1 ($10) from her discounted capital gains ($130). |
3 |
applies the CGT discount to her remaining discounted capital gains: |
Step 4
Finally, Ilena adds up the capital gains remaining to arrive at her net capital gain:
- $0 (non-discounted) + $60 (discounted) = $60 net capital gain.
Ilena completes item 18 on her tax return (supplementary section) as follows:
18 Capital gains |
You must also print X in the Yes box at G if you received a distribution of a capital gain from a trust |
||
Did you have a Capital gains tax event during |
G No Yes X |
||
Net capital gain |
A 60 |
||
Total current year capital gains |
H 220 |
||
Net capital losses carried forward to later income years |
V |
Records Ilena needs to keep
The tax-deferred and tax-free amounts Ilena received are not included in her income or her capital gain, but the tax-deferred amount affects the cost base and reduced cost base of her units in XYZ Managed Fund for future income years. The tax-free amount affects her reduced cost base.
Ilena reduces the cost base and reduced cost base of her units as follows:
Cost base |
$5,000 |
less tax-deferred amount |
$30 |
New cost base |
$4,970 |
Reduced cost base |
$4,700 |
less (tax-deferred amount + tax-free amount) |
$65 |
New reduced cost base |
$4,635 |