ATO: Trusts Tax Avoidance Taskforce

February 24, 2022
The ATO have released information on its Tax Avoidance Taskforce – Trusts, which targets higher risk trust arrangements in privately owned and wealthy groups.

The ATO Trusts taskforce focus on the following risks:

  • lodgment of trust tax returns
  • complex distributions
  • trust and taxable income mismatches
  • unidentified beneficiaries
  • cross border and international risks
  • avoidance and evasion.
The ATO have a number of trust risk rules in place to identify higher risk compliance issues. The priorities in relation to trusts are to:
  • undertake focused compliance activity on privately owned and wealthy groups involved in tax avoidance and evasion arrangements using trust structures
  • target known tax scheme designers, promoters, individuals and businesses who participate in such arrangements
  • lead cross-agency action to pursue the most egregious cases of tax abuse using trusts undertake projects to gather intelligence on and deal with specific risks.