In the 2013 Federal Budget, the Government announced that it will provide $67.9m over 4 years to the Tax Office to undertake compliance activity in relation to trust structures.
The taskforce will target the exploitation of trusts to conceal income, mischaracterise transactions, artificially reduce trust income amounts and underpay tax. It will focus on taxpayers who have been “involved in egregious tax avoidance and evasion” involving trusts.
Compliance activity will target “known tax scheme designers, promoters, individuals and businesses who participate in such arrangements”.
The measure is estimated to increase revenue by $379m over the forward estimates period.
The Tax Office has now also released further details as to what factors will attract its attention. This includes arrangements where trusts or their beneficiaries who have received substantial income are not registered, or have not lodged tax returns or activity statements.