With the ATO signalling its interest in fixed trusts, professional advisers will need to be on the lookout for issues in this area, says Scott Hay-Bartlem, tax partner at Brisbane law firm Cooper Grace Ward.

‘A number of tax outcomes depend on a trust being a ‘fixed trust’ and the beneficiaries having a ‘fixed entitlement’,’ Mr Hay-Bartlem said.

‘With the release of PCG 2016/D16, the ATO has highlighted its interest in this area, so it will be important to identify when it will be best to have a fixed trust and what we should look for,’ he said.

’We see many unit trusts that are not fixed trusts,’ Mr Hay-Bartlem continued. ‘It is important to look at not just the circumstances but also the trust deed. For example the trust deed must not allow the trustee to be able to redeem units without the consent of the affected unitholder, and there must be no discretion in whether and how the trustee distributes income and capital.’

Mr Hay-Bartlem will discuss these issues and more at Cooper Grace Ward’s upcoming Adviser Training Day on Friday 24 March. Now in its eighth year, the Adviser Training Day is an intensive full-day conference hosted at the Mercure Hotel Brisbane, covering a range of topics designed to assist professional advisers in the issues they face on a day-to-day basis.

It will be accompanied by the Annual SMSF Conference on Thursday 23 March, which includes an SMSF Back to Basics session, update on the previous year in the SMSF space followed by an exclusive workshop addressing SMSF and estate planning issues after the 2016 Budget.

Both the Adviser Training Day and the Annual SMSF Conference will feature presentations from lawyers specialising in tax, revenue, superannuation, estate planning, workplace relations and other areas of commercial law.