Are you looking to set up a trust fund in Australia? You may think it’s a complicated and intimidating process – the mere mention of legal documents and the volatile stock market can send shivers down your spine. But establishing a trust fund doesn’t have to be so difficult.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what is involved in setting up a trust fund in Australia, exploring everything from potential tax implications and financing options to choosing a trustee. Read on for all the information you need to launch your Australian trust fund confidently.
What is a trust fund, and how does it work in Australia
A trust fund is a financial product used to help individuals and families manage their assets both now and in the future. In Australia, there are two main types of trusts: discretionary and fixed. With a discretionary trust, trustees have vast powers over the distribution of assets placed in the trust; with a fixed trust, by contrast, distributions are made according to predetermined conditions.
Setting up a trust can involve complex arrangements, so it’s best to speak to an experienced financial advisor or lawyer about the type of trust best for your particular circumstances. Allocating financial resources correctly can make all the difference in building wealth from generation to generation. Brokers such as Saxo Bank have years of experience helping Australians set up trusts and can connect you with the right professionals.
Who can set up a trust fund, and what are the benefits?
Any adult, either resident or non-resident in Australia, can set up a trust fund. Benefits for those who decide to do so include asset protection, estate planning and tax efficiency. When creating a trust, you are legally allowed to transfer assets from your name into the name of the trust. It means that if creditors come looking for repayment in your name, they won’t be able to touch the assets as they belong to the trust. Similarly, by transferring wealth into a trust fund, you can protect it from future estate taxes and minimise the amount that goes to taxation.
Another advantage of setting up a trust is that you control how your assets are managed and distributed in the future. You can set up the trust to benefit family members now and after you are gone while creating a legacy that will last for generations. Additionally, you can set up the trust to continue after your death, providing for children or other beneficiaries even in unforeseen events.
How do you set up a trust fund in Australia?
To set up a trust fund in Australia, there are several steps you must follow. Firstly, you must decide on the type of trust best suits your needs and goals. Next, please choose an appropriate name for the trust; this should be done carefully, as it will impact how external parties view the trust. You will also need to decide whom you want to be the trustee and appoint them in writing.
Once these decisions have been made, the next step is to draw up the trust deed and have it signed by all relevant parties. This document outlines how assets are to be managed, distributed, and taxed, and it is a legally binding document that will be used in court if any disputes arise. Before signing this document, it’s highly recommended that you consult a lawyer to ensure everything is correctly stated and compliant with Australian trust laws.
Finally, the trust must be registered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This process can take up to 28 days and requires you to submit the trust deed and other relevant documents, such as a Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Affairs and Trust Deed Summary. After all these steps have been taken, you will be ready to start benefitting from your trust fund in Australia.
What are the tax implications of setting up a trust fund in Australia?
The main tax implication of setting up a trust fund in Australia is that it must be registered for taxation purposes with the ATO. Trustees are then required to pay income tax on behalf of the beneficiaries from funds derived from the trust.
Trusts must also determine if they’re classified as ‘Accumulation’ or ‘Discretionary’ trusts. It will determine the type of tax that needs to be paid and whether it is related to the income derived from the trust, capital gains or something else. Speaking with an accountant or financial advisor specialising in taxation matters is advised for more information on this topic.
In some cases, setting up a trust fund can also help you reduce taxation on income. Certain trusts classified as ‘Accumulation’ may be eligible for the lower tax rate of 15%. It means that income derived from the trust will not be taxed at the highest marginal tax rate of 45%, which can result in significant savings over time.