The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced that a Labour Government (should they be elected) will introduce a standard minimum 30% tax rate for discretionary trust distributions to “mature beneficiaries” (i.e., people aged 18 and over).
Although the ALP acknowledges that individuals and businesses use trusts for a range of legitimate reasons, such as asset protection and business succession, “in some cases, trusts are used solely for tax minimisation.”
Labour’s policy will only apply to discretionary trusts, so other trusts – such as special disability trusts, deceased estates and fixed trusts – will not be affected by this change.
Labour’s policy will also not apply to farm trusts and charitable trusts, and other exemptions will apply, such as for people with a disability (the Commissioner of Taxation will be given discretionary powers to manage this).
Their announcement also reiterated their other policies regarding tax reform, including further changes to superannuation, changes to negative gearing and CGT, and limiting deductions for managing tax affairs