The Forgotten CGT events: Are asset revaluations reserve distributions by trustees of discretionary trusts capital gains?
It is the present practice that asset revaluation reserve distributions by trustees of discretionary trusts are not taxed in Australia. Are such distributions not meant to be taxed, or have relevant sections in the Income Tax Assessment Acts been overlooked? This article will review how trustees of discretionary trusts perform asset revaluation reserve distributions, and then raises the possibility that challenges the current accepted view that they can be distributed tax-free to discretionary beneficiaries by analysing relevant CGT events, which the authors regard as forgotten events. It will be submitted that a discretionary beneficiary in receipt of an asset revaluation reserve distribution may have a capital gain which is required to be included in its assessable income. This liability for tax is regardless of the government's recent introduction of s 109XA to address the practice of asset revaluation reserve distributions bypassing the operation of Div 7A of the ITAA 1936's operation with such distributions
Australian Tax Review