ESTATE TAXATION

The taxation of Deceased Estates and Testamentary Trusts is a complex and specialised area of taxation that is often poorly understood by many tax and legal practitioners, resulting in inaccurate tax assessments, the unnecessary depletion of estate assets and the possibility of Executors becoming personal liable for taxation after the completion of the administration of the estate.

The BNR Estate Taxation team are considered nationally as the leading tax advisors on Estates and Trusts taxation matters, with one of the only dedicated teams of accountants in the country that specialise in this niche and complex area of taxation, providing Estate taxation solutions and advice to Legal Practitioners, Executors and listed Trustee Companies right across Australia.

Our vision is to be known by 2020 as the advisor of choice to professional Trustees, legal practitioners and Executors, by providing leading professional tax advice and services on Deceased Estates and Trusts.

Taxation of Deceased Estates and Testamentary Trusts is a specialised area that is often poorly understood by many practitioners resulting in inaccurate tax assessments, the unnecessary depletion of estate assets and the possibility of Executors becoming personally liable for unidentified ATO obligations.

We work directly with Legal Practitioners, listed Trustee Companies and Executors right across Australia, providing both reliable and specialised Estates and Trusts taxation services.

Our Estates and Trusts Team are considered as experts in the field of Estate taxation throughout Australia and our clients have confidence in the knowledge that they are dealing with one of the only dedicated team of Estate Taxation Accountants in Australia, who have specialised in this area for over 17 years.

An Executor takes on the legal responsibility and liability for the Deceased’s tax affairs, which usually includes lodging a final Income Tax Return for the Deceased called a Date of Death Return. This Return includes all the income and expenses the Deceased incurred up to their date of death.

Our team can assist Executors in preparing and lodging the Deceased’s final Income Tax Return, ensuring that all the appropriate income, deductions, tax offset and deemed CGT events that can occur on death are correctly included.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

Both a Deceased Estate and Testamentary Trust are considered as separate legal entities and can have a number of complex and unusual tax situations, such as beneficiaries who lack legal capacity or reside abroad, the establishment of a Testamentary Trust, or the multiple tax assessment notices that could be received within a single year by the executor or trustee.

Our team is experienced in these complex areas, and is able to assist Executors and Trustees in meeting and understanding their obligations, supplying annual Beneficiary Tax Statements and even applying for tax file numbers for these entities. It is critical that executors ensure they are comfortable, and are backed by a team who understands many of these complexities and can assist them in meeting their obligations.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

It is the Executor’s personal responsibility to manage any outstanding taxation obligations of the deceased and address any retrospective taxation omissions or errors by the deceased prior to death, that are or should have been identified through their administration of the estate.

As Executors can be held personally liable for any outstanding tax obligations following the finalisation of the Estate, it is highly recommended as an Executor, you acquaint yourself with the current status of the Deceased’s taxation affairs. To assist is this process, our team can provide a summary of the deceased’s taxation history and identify any outstanding tax obligations.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

On the pending closure of an Estate or Testamentary Trust, BNR Estate Taxation can provide an estimate of the remaining tax obligations that the Executor must make allowances for. This enables the Executor or Trustee to plan for the finalisation of their administration, and/or assess the viability of making interim distributions to Beneficiaries.
It is the Executor’s personal responsibility during the administration of an Estate to finalise any outstanding tax obligations that the Deceased may have had at their date of death including dealing with any potential tax issues that may arise during the administration of the Estate.

As Executors can be held personally liable for any outstanding tax obligations following the finalisation of the Estate, the Executors should show they have provided reasonable care when dealing with the Deceased’s and Estate’s tax affairs. With this job request, BNR can provide you with a Letter of Advice confirming any outstanding tax obligations and advise on tax issues that you may have encountered during the administration of the Estate.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

Although not directly an Estate asset, many people establish private Companies, family Trusts and Self-Managed Superannuation Funds to hold and develop their personal wealth. Frequently these structures contain historical issues that will need to be addressed as part of an administration, that require both a development of an overall strategy and working through either winding up or transferring control of these structures.

Our team has years of experiences in advising on these sorts of complex structural issues. We are also able to assist executors with the preparation of annual Financial Reports and Income Tax Returns. Executors take comfort in appointing an independent specialist accountant to historically assess and then process these entities.

Executors and Trustees are responsible for the withholding and submission of tax on distributions to foreign Beneficiaries, or when a Beneficiary fails to quote their Tax File Number to the Trustee of a Testamentary Trust. We can assist with the registration process and calculations of correct withholding tax amounts, and meeting the annual reporting obligations to the Australian Taxation Office.
Increasingly, high net worth individuals are providing for the establishment of a Testamentary Charitable Trust as part of the estate planning process. For many Executors and professionals this testamentary wish by the Deceased can be very daunting as this type of Trust is not often encountered in general practice.

BNR Estate Taxation has many years of experience in dealing with Testamentary Charitable Trusts and often assist Executors and Trustee Companies with the registration for Charitable Trust endorsement.

The Australian Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) is the federal government body that regulates all charities in Australia, and places a number of financial and non-financial reporting obligations on the Trustees, which we assist many charities with on an annual basis. Trustees should also assess the merits and obligations of registering for GST, and the trust’s ability in applying for the refund of Franking Credits; these are all functions that we can assist you with.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

Our team regularly presents on the various elements of Estate Taxation at legal conferences, as well as providing in-house training to both Legal Practices and Trustee Companies across Australia. We would be happy to discuss how we may be able to assist you with any conference, seminars or training events on this specialist topic.

Upcoming Speaking Events

BNR Partners also provides written opinions on more complex taxation matters where there is uncertainty on the interpretation of taxation legislation in relation to deceased estates and testamentary trusts, or when tax planning is recommended during the Will preparation process. This advice is often used in mediation processes.
With the variety of estate taxation complexities and uncertainties that exist, it is often in the best interest of the estate and the LPR to seek a private binding ruling as to how the Commissioner would assess a given arrangement or situation.

This is increasingly important where there is uncertainty in relation to tax treatment so as to provide the LPR with certainty on how to report certain events, to be able to manage their exposure to personal liability for income tax post the distribution of an estate’s corpus.

BNR Partners regularly manage voluntary disclosures directly with the ATO on behalf of LPR’s where uncertainty exists as to the tax history of the deceased, or where there are retrospective compliance issues that the LPR needs to address prior to distributing the estate’s corpus, but is unable for any number of reasons to finalise.

SERVICES

Taxation of Deceased Estates and Testamentary Trusts is a specialised area that is often poorly understood by many practitioners resulting in inaccurate tax assessments, the unnecessary depletion of estate assets and the possibility of Executors becoming personally liable for unidentified ATO obligations.

We work directly with Legal Practitioners, listed Trustee Companies and Executors right across Australia, providing both reliable and specialised Estates and Trusts taxation services.

Our Estates and Trusts Team are considered as experts in the field of Estate taxation throughout Australia and our clients have confidence in the knowledge that they are dealing with one of the only dedicated team of Estate Taxation Accountants in Australia, who have specialised in this area for over 17 years.

DATE OF DEATH TAX RETURN

An Executor takes on the legal responsibility and liability for the Deceased’s tax affairs, which usually includes lodging a final Income Tax Return for the Deceased called a Date of Death Return. This Return includes all the income and expenses the Deceased incurred up to their date of death.

Our team can assist Executors in preparing and lodging the Deceased’s final Income Tax Return, ensuring that all the appropriate income, deductions, tax offset and deemed CGT events that can occur on death are correctly included.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

DECEASED ESTATE AND TESTAMENTARY TRUST TAX RETURNS

Both a Deceased Estate and Testamentary Trust are considered as separate legal entities and can have a number of complex and unusual tax situations, such as beneficiaries who lack legal capacity or reside abroad, the establishment of a Testamentary Trust, or the multiple tax assessment notices that could be received within a single year by the executor or trustee.

Our team is experienced in these complex areas, and is able to assist Executors and Trustees in meeting and understanding their obligations, supplying annual Beneficiary Tax Statements and even applying for tax file numbers for these entities. It is critical that executors ensure they are comfortable, and are backed by a team who understands many of these complexities and can assist them in meeting their obligations.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

OBTAIN A TAX HISTORY REPORT

It is the Executor’s personal responsibility to manage any outstanding taxation obligations of the deceased and address any retrospective taxation omissions or errors by the deceased prior to death, that are or should have been identified through their administration of the estate.

As Executors can be held personally liable for any outstanding tax obligations following the finalisation of the Estate, it is highly recommended as an Executor, you acquaint yourself with the current status of the Deceased’s taxation affairs. To assist is this process, our team can provide a summary of the deceased’s taxation history and identify any outstanding tax obligations.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

TAX CLEARANCE PRIOR TO FINALISING AN ESTATE

On the pending closure of an Estate or Testamentary Trust, BNR Estate Taxation can provide an estimate of the remaining tax obligations that the Executor must make allowances for. This enables the Executor or Trustee to plan for the finalisation of their administration, and/or assess the viability of making interim distributions to Beneficiaries.

LETTER OF ADVICE

It is the Executor’s personal responsibility during the administration of an Estate to finalise any outstanding tax obligations that the Deceased may have had at their date of death including dealing with any potential tax issues that may arise during the administration of the Estate.

As Executors can be held personally liable for any outstanding tax obligations following the finalisation of the Estate, the Executors should show they have provided reasonable care when dealing with the Deceased’s and Estate’s tax affairs. With this job request, BNR can provide you with a Letter of Advice confirming any outstanding tax obligations and advise on tax issues that you may have encountered during the administration of the Estate.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

PRIVATE COMPANY, TRUSTS AND SMSF’S

Although not directly an Estate asset, many people establish private Companies, family Trusts and Self-Managed Superannuation Funds to hold and develop their personal wealth. Frequently these structures contain historical issues that will need to be addressed as part of an administration, that require both a development of an overall strategy and working through either winding up or transferring control of these structures.

Our team has years of experiences in advising on these sorts of complex structural issues. We are also able to assist executors with the preparation of annual Financial Reports and Income Tax Returns. Executors take comfort in appointing an independent specialist accountant to historically assess and then process these entities.

WITHHOLDING TAX OBLIGATIONS

Executors and Trustees are responsible for the withholding and submission of tax on distributions to foreign Beneficiaries, or when a Beneficiary fails to quote their Tax File Number to the Trustee of a Testamentary Trust. We can assist with the registration process and calculations of correct withholding tax amounts, and meeting the annual reporting obligations to the Australian Taxation Office.

TESTAMENTARY CHARITABLE TRUSTS

Increasingly, high net worth individuals are providing for the establishment of a Testamentary Charitable Trust as part of the estate planning process. For many Executors and professionals this testamentary wish by the Deceased can be very daunting as this type of Trust is not often encountered in general practice.

BNR Estate Taxation has many years of experience in dealing with Testamentary Charitable Trusts and often assist Executors and Trustee Companies with the registration for Charitable Trust endorsement.

The Australian Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) is the federal government body that regulates all charities in Australia, and places a number of financial and non-financial reporting obligations on the Trustees, which we assist many charities with on an annual basis. Trustees should also assess the merits and obligations of registering for GST, and the trust’s ability in applying for the refund of Franking Credits; these are all functions that we can assist you with.

We are happy to take written instructions for any new matters. Please forward your request by email or to our postal address together, with the supporting documents as shown in our downloadable Data Collection Check List. Alternatively, feel free to submit your request using our eForm here.

CONFERENCES AND IN-HOUSE TRAINING

Our team regularly presents on the various elements of Estate Taxation at legal conferences, as well as providing in-house training to both Legal Practices and Trustee Companies across Australia. We would be happy to discuss how we may be able to assist you with any conference, seminars or training events on this specialist topic.

Upcoming Speaking Events

SPECIALISED TAX ADVICE

BNR Partners also provides written opinions on more complex taxation matters where there is uncertainty on the interpretation of taxation legislation in relation to deceased estates and testamentary trusts, or when tax planning is recommended during the Will preparation process. This advice is often used in mediation processes.

PRIVATE BINDING RULING (PBR)

With the variety of estate taxation complexities and uncertainties that exist, it is often in the best interest of the estate and the LPR to seek a private binding ruling as to how the Commissioner would assess a given arrangement or situation.

This is increasingly important where there is uncertainty in relation to tax treatment so as to provide the LPR with certainty on how to report certain events, to be able to manage their exposure to personal liability for income tax post the distribution of an estate’s corpus.

VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURES

BNR Partners regularly manage voluntary disclosures directly with the ATO on behalf of LPR’s where uncertainty exists as to the tax history of the deceased, or where there are retrospective compliance issues that the LPR needs to address prior to distributing the estate’s corpus, but is unable for any number of reasons to finalise.

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