Monday, March 21, 2011

Insurance funded buy-sell arrangements - ATO commentary

A number of earlier posts have considered various taxation aspects of insurance funded buy-sell arrangements.

Some minutes recently released from the National Tax Liaison Group meeting towards the end of last year provide an interesting insight to the latest ATO views in this area.

For those who have not seen a full copy of the minutes and would like a copy please email me.

As you will see, in summary:

1. The status of taxation ruling on absolute entitlement (TR2004/D25) remains unclear.

2. The ATO considers its finalisation intricately linked to how it will deal with bare trusts, which again remains an unresolved issue.

3. The ATO confirms that the product ruling released last year in relation to one provider’s insurance trust arrangement is based entirely on the assumption that absolute entitlement was created. As my post from last year indicated, this assumption may be an unwise one to make given the ATO’s apparent attitude in this area.

4. While the ATO is flagging that they will further consider providing appropriate guidance, they have specifically confirmed that the Discussion Paper from 2000 on business succession arrangements cannot be considered current.
Until next week.