Find information to support your lodgment, administration and record-keeping requirements.
We are authorised by the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 and other taxation laws to collect certain information relating to your entity. We may use business details supplied on the tax return to update the information held in the Australian Business Register (ABR) in relation to your entity. This may include cancelling the ABN if your entity is no longer entitled to be registered in the ABR.
Where authorised by law, selected information on the ABR may be made publicly available and some may be passed on to other Commonwealth, state, territory and local government agencies. These agencies may use ABR information for purposes authorised by their legislation, or for carrying out other functions of their agency. Examples of possible uses include registration, reporting, compliance, validation and updating of databases.
You can find details of agencies that regularly receive information from the ABR at abr.gov.auExternal Link
See privacy statementExternal Link for more information on:
- the information collected
- how it may be used.
We are making increasing use of information-matching technology to verify the correctness of tax returns.
Ensure all information is fully and correctly declared on your tax returns. Certain claims made may be subject to additional scrutiny by us.
For more information, see Data-matching.
It is important to determine whether the trust is carrying on a business, as distinct from pursuing a hobby, sport or recreational activity that does not produce assessable income.
A private ruling is binding advice that sets out how a tax law applies to you in relation to a specified scheme or circumstance.
The easiest way to apply for a private ruling is by using one of the approved forms. They will help you provide the information we need to complete a private ruling.
For more information, see Private rulings.
If you are involved in the acquiring or disposing of crypto assets, you need to be aware of the tax consequences. These vary depending on the nature of your circumstances. If you are acquiring or disposing of crypto assets in your business, see Crypto assets and business.
If you are carrying on a business, you must keep records relevant for any tax purpose that record and explain all transactions and other acts you are engaged in. subsection 262A(2) of the ITAA 1936 prescribes the records to be kept, including:
- any documents relevant for the purpose of ascertaining the person’s income or expenditure
- documents containing particulars of any election, estimate, determination or calculation made by the person for tax purposes and, in the case of an estimate, determination or calculation, particulars showing the basis on which and the method by which the estimate, determination or calculation was made.
You must keep these records for your financial arrangements covered by the TOFA rules, even if you are not carrying on a business in relation to those arrangements.
Generally, the trust must keep all relevant records for 5 years after they were prepared or obtained, or 5 years after the completion of the transactions or acts to which they relate, whichever is the later. This period may be extended in certain circumstances. Keep records in writing and in English. You can keep them electronically as long as the records are in a form that we can access and understand to ascertain your tax liability. See TR 2018/2 Income tax: record keeping and access – electronic records.
Keep the following records:
- a copy of the trust deed
- a copy of all trustee resolutions
- detailed statement of assets and liabilities
- the names in which business contracts are made
- a record of the name and contact details of the trustee at year end
- records that show you have met your choice of superannuation fund employer obligations (see Offer employees a choice of super fund).
If your trust incurs tax losses, you may need to keep records longer than 5 years from the date when the losses were incurred. To deduct a current or prior year loss a trust needs to pass certain tests in the trust loss provisions.
Generally, tax losses incurred this year can be carried forward indefinitely, until they are applied by recoupment. When applied, the loss amount is used in calculating the trust’s net income (and beneficiary’s taxable income) in that year. It is in the trust’s interest to keep records substantiating the balance of this year’s losses until the amendment period for the trust’s or beneficiary’s assessment for the recoupment year in which the losses are fully applied has lapsed.
For more information on record keeping where losses are incurred, see TD 2007/2 Income tax: should a taxpayer who has incurred a tax loss or made a net capital loss for an income year retain records relevant to the ascertainment of that loss only for the record retention period prescribed under income tax law?
A trust must keep adequate records of all expenditure which will help to correctly work out the amount of capital gain or capital loss made when a CGT event happens. A trust must keep records relating to the ownership and all the costs of acquiring and disposing of property. It will also help to make sure the trust does not pay more CGT than is necessary.
A trust must keep records of everything that affects the trust’s capital gains and capital losses. Penalties can apply if the trust does not keep the records for at least 5 years after the relevant CGT event. If the trust uses the information from those records in a later tax return, the trust should generally keep records longer. If the trust has applied a net capital loss, the trust should generally keep records of the CGT event that resulted in the loss until the end of any period of review for the income year in which the capital loss is fully applied.
Keep records of any overseas transactions in which the trust is involved, or has an interest, during the income year.
The involvement can be direct or indirect, for example, through individuals, trusts, companies or other entities. The interest can be vested or contingent and includes a case where the trust has direct or indirect control of:
- any income from sources outside Australia not disclosed elsewhere on the tax return, or
- any property, including money, situated outside Australia. Where this is the case keep a record of the
- location and nature of the property
- name and address of any partnership, trust, business, company, or other entity in which the trust has an interest
- nature of the interest.
If an overseas interest was created by exercising any power of appointment, or if the trust had an ability to control or achieve control of overseas income or property, keep a record of the:
- location and nature of the property
- name and address of any partnership, trust, business, company, or other entity in which the trust has an interest.
If there is no trustee who is an Australian resident, the onus is on the public officer to keep this information.
A trust with overseas transactions may be required to complete an International dealings schedule.
Keep a record of the following:
- the name and address of the other party to the transaction
- the purchase or sale price, including details of the allocation of purchase or sale price to all items purchased or sold, including stock on hand and depreciating assets
- a copy of the contract of purchase or sale.
If there is no trustee who is an Australian resident, the onus is on the public officer to keep this information.
If a trust carries on a business in Australia or derives income from property in Australia and there is no trustee who is an Australian resident, the trustee generally appoints a public officer. The public officer must be a natural person of at least 18 years of age residing in Australia and who is capable of understanding the nature of their appointment as the public officer. The appointment of a public officer is made by giving written notice, specifying the name and address of the public officer, to the Commissioner.
The trust does not need to appoint a public officer if the Australian income of the trust consists solely of dividends, interest and/or royalties subject to withholding tax, or the Commissioner has granted an exemption in writing.
If the trustee does not appoint a public officer they may be prosecuted. A fine of up to one penalty unit may be imposed for each day that the trustee fails or neglects to meet the requirements. For the dollar amount of a penalty unit, see Penalties.
The public officer is answerable for doing everything required to be done by the trustee under the ITAA 1936, the ITAA 1997 or the Regulations. A public officer who defaults on any of these duties is liable to the same penalties as the trustee.
A beneficiary may be entitled to claim certain tax offsets, such as those for:
- seniors and pensioners
- private health insurance.
For more information, see the Individual tax return instructions 2023.
If a trustee is assessable on behalf of a beneficiary who is presently entitled but under a legal disability, the trustee may be entitled to tax offsets to which that beneficiary would be entitled. Provide a statement on a separate sheet of paper showing the type and amounts of any claim for a tax offset. Sign the statement, attach it to the tax return and print X in the Yes box at Have you attached any ‘other attachments’? at the top of page one of the tax return.
Seniors and pensioners tax offset
If you are claiming the seniors and pensioners tax offset, you must provide a statement of information for each beneficiary and their spouse (if they had one) and attach to the trust return.
Provide the following information on each statement:
- trust’s name and TFN
- beneficiary’s name and TFN
- full name of beneficiary’s spouse and TFN on 30 June
- beneficiary’s residency status
- rebate income of the beneficiary
- total amount received by the beneficiary of any Australian Government allowances and payments like Jobseeker payment, youth allowance and Austudy payment; see item 5 Australian Government allowances and payments on the Tax return for individuals 2023
- total amount received by the beneficiary of any Australian Government pensions and allowances; see item on the Tax return for individuals 2023
- rebate income of the beneficiary’s spouse; see question T1 Seniors and pensioners in the Individual tax return instructions 2023
- total amount received by the spouse of Australian Government pensions and allowances; see Spouse details – married or de facto item P on the Tax return for individuals 2023
- total amount received by the spouse of exempt pension income; see Spouse details – married or de facto item Q on the Tax return for individuals 2023.
Private health insurance tax offset
If you are a trustee who is assessable on behalf of a beneficiary who is presently entitled but under a legal disability (see section 98 of the ITAA 1936) and the beneficiary is entitled to a tax offset under the private health insurance rebate, you can claim the tax offset for this rebate up to the value of any tax payable. To do this, provide a statement on a separate sheet of paper showing:
- trust's name
- trust's TFN
- beneficiary’s name
- beneficiary’s TFN
- beneficiary’s share of the net income of the trust estate
- beneficiary’s spouse’s income for surcharge purposes (if they had a spouse on 30 June 2023)
- all the lines of information separately as they are displayed on the private health insurance statement
- ‘Health insurer ID’ at B on the beneficiary’s health insurance statement
- ‘Membership number’ at C on the beneficiary’s health insurance statement
- ‘Your premiums eligible for Australian Government rebate’ at J on the beneficiary’s health insurance statement
- ‘Your Australian Government Rebate received’ at K on the beneficiary’s health insurance statement
- ‘Benefit code’ at L on the beneficiary’s health insurance statement
- tax claim code (see Private health insurance policy details 2023 in the Individual tax return instructions 2023)
- number of beneficiary’s dependent children who are under 21 years old or full-time students under 25 years old.
If the beneficiary has a spouse and they have agreed to allow the beneficiary to claim their own share of the rebate as well as their spouse's share of the rebate, you must provide the policy details listed above for the spouse. The beneficiary and spouse must be covered under the same policy so the policy details should be the same for the beneficiary and spouse except for the tax claim code which will be C for the beneficiary and D for the spouse. For assistance in providing the details, see Private health insurance rebate.
Rebate percentages are adjusted on 1 April each year. If premiums for the policy were paid before and on or after 1 April, the private health insurance statement will contain at least 2 lines of information. All those lines should be provided separately without adding amounts reported in any column or row.
Sign the statement, attach it to the trust tax return and print X in the Yes box at Have you attached any ‘other attachments’? at the top of page one of the tax return.
The law has changed regarding the way insurers provide policy holders with private health insurance details. It is now optional for registered health insurers to provide a private health insurance statement. A statement will only be provided if requested from the registered health insurer.
Contact the health insurer for the relevant statement to ensure you use the correct details as displayed on the statement.
Your trust tax return may be delayed if you do not use the relevant statement and the private health insurance details you provide are incorrect.
For more assistance in providing private health insurance policy details, see Private health insurance policy details in the Individual tax return instructions 2023.
Public trading trusts are taxed as companies, and so are required to lodge a Company tax return 2023. They must also apply for a company TFN. For more information on a public trading trust, see Public trading trusts.
The trust loss provisions of Schedule 2F to the ITAA 1936 apply to public trading trusts (even though they are taxed as companies), except where the public trading trust is participating in the consolidation regime for taxing wholly owned groups as a single income tax entity.
For more information on the trust loss provisions, see Trust loss provisions. For detailed information on the treatment of losses under consolidation, see the Consolidation reference manual:
- Part C – Detailed information
- C9 – Determine tax liabilities, manage obligations
- C9-5: Worked examples.
Eligible managed investment trusts can make an irrevocable choice to become an Attribution managed investment trust (AMIT). Where this choice has been made, trustees will be required to lodge an Attribution managed investment trust (AMIT) tax return and Attribution managed investment trust (AMIT) tax schedule where the trust is eligible to be an AMIT for the income year.
For more information, see Attribution managed investment trusts.
Attribution corporate collective investment vehicle sub-fund trust
A Corporate collective investment vehicle (CCIV) sub-fund trust that satisfies the applicable AMIT eligibility requirements in Division 276 of the ITAA 1997 for an income year will be treated as an AMIT for that year. The trustee for such an attribution CCIV sub-fund trust will be required to lodge an Attribution CCIV sub-fund trust tax return for that income year.
For more information, see Corporate collective investment vehicles.
Managers of unit trusts that are investment bodies for the purposes of Part VA of the ITAA 1936 may be required under Division 393 of Schedule 1 of the TAA to lodge an Annual investment income report if they made distributions to unit holders during the year. The report requires details of distributions, including the amounts paid and the names of the payees. For more information, see Annual investment income report.
The law imposes penalties on trustees for:
- failing to lodge a tax return on time and in the approved form, which includes all applicable schedules
- having a shortfall amount by understating a tax-related liability or over-claiming a credit that is caused by
- making a false or misleading statement
- taking a position that is not reasonably arguable
- making a false or misleading statement in a material particular that does not result in a shortfall amount
- failing to provide a tax return from which the Commissioner can determine a liability
- obtaining a scheme benefit
- failing to keep and produce proper records
- preventing access to premises and documents
- failing to retain or produce declarations.
Penalties may be applied to any false or misleading statement in a material, whether the error results in a liability or not. This penalty will not apply where the trustee and their agent, if applicable, has taken reasonable care in making the statement.
Trustees are liable for the general interest charge (GIC) where they have:
- not paid a tax, penalty or certain other amounts by the due date
- varied their pay as you go (PAYG) instalment amount or rate to less than 85% of the amount or rate that would have covered the trustee's actual liability on business and investment income for the year.
Where an assessment is amended because the tax payable has increased, the due date for payment of the amended assessment is 21 days after the Commissioner gives the notice increasing the liability. Generally, trustees are liable to pay a shortfall interest charge (SIC), which accrues from the due date for payment of the original assessment to the day before the issue date of the amended notice of assessment on the increase.Use these instructions to help you complete the Trust tax return 2023 (NAT 0660).