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Family Trusts and the Bamford Decision

For those concerned with trust law, the High Court’s ruling in Bamford v Federal Commissioner for Taxation is the first definitive decision to consider how to calculate a ‘share’ and what constitutes ‘net income’.

In essence, the High Court (in upholding the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court) held that trustees are no longer taxed for capital gains, it is now the responsibility of the beneficiary. In Bamford compliant deeds, the beneficiary may be liable for either the fixed dollar or variable percentage of their interest in trust income. If the deed is not Bamford compliant, then a beneficiary may be taxed on income that is higher than what they actually receive.

Trust Deeds drawn before June 2009 (when the Federal Court released its decision) may not be Bamford compliant. If your deed was drawn before that time, we recommend contacting our Commercial team on 1300 428 947 or at and speaking with one of our Solicitors.

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