A Guide To Buying Property Through A Trust

January 3, 2023    Tax Return Perth

Real estate investing can be intimidating. Creating trust is an approach to reducing the possible hazards associated with real estate investment. A family trust, commonly called a discretionary trust, is the most popular type among many others. Australians frequently invest in real estate through family trusts because of the protection. When considering buying an investment property through family trust, one must understand how it works and how it can benefit you long-term.

No matter what kind of trust you are working with, there will always be a trustee. The trustee could be a person or a company (or individuals). The trust deed will (or should) specify the trustee’s powers to oversee trust assets and deal with real estate.

Family trusts are a popular tool for buying property through a trust. It can be a method to divide profits among family members, reduce tax obligations, and safeguard a family’s assets. A trust deed and an ABN are required to create a trust.

How can trust be defined?

A trust is a commitment to a person, group, or other body to hold a property for beneficiaries. Taxpayers are considered taxpayer entities even though trusts are technically relationships rather than legal entities.

In addition to registering the trust with the tax authorities, filing trust tax returns, and paying some tax debts, the trustee is responsible for all tax matters related to the trust.

Beneficiaries must report their portion of the trust’s net income as income on their trust tax return, except for some minors and non-residents. There are unique regulations for various trust kinds, such as family trusts, estates of the deceased, and super funds.

Types of Trusts

There are various types of trusts that an individual can use to buy or acquire a property. Some of them are as follows-

1. Discretionary trust

Family trusts are discretionary trusts whose members are related. The purpose of creating a family trust is to manage, safeguard, and pass on family assets from one generation to the next and get family trust tax benefits Australia, including stakes, private property, and the home business.

The trustee may transfer income and capital gains to any family member they deem appropriate. It also applies to family members with lower marginal tax rates to lower tax liabilities. Additionally, it is possible to reduce/exclude payments in kind and money to problematic family members.

In addition to your blood relatives, family members may include your partner’s parents, siblings, grandparents, nephews, nieces, and spouses.

2. Unit trust

An unincorporated mutual fund form known as a unit trust enables funds to store assets and distribute profits to individual unit owners rather than being reinvested into the fund. The beneficiaries of a unit trust have specified income entitlements, in contrast to a discretionary trust, where they do not.

The trust’s assets are divided into units for the beneficiaries/unit-holders as shares in a corporation. Then, following the number of units each beneficiary owns, the trustee must distribute the income from assets to them. A unit trust is dissimilar from a mutual fund as a trust deed creates it, and the investor is the trust’s beneficiary.

3. Hybrid trust

As the name implies, a hybrid trust combines a discretionary trust with a unit trust. A “hybrid trust” can take many different forms and is defined as a trust with traits similar to both discretionary and unit trusts. As a result, when a tax expert refers to a hybrid, they could be referring to any of several different hybrid trust forms.

A typical hybrid trust combines the best features of a unit and discretionary trust into a single entity. It has unit holders and discretionary beneficiaries. After the trustee has the right to distribute income to the discretionary beneficiaries, any income and capital that has not been transferred to a discretionary beneficiary is then entitled to distribution to the unitholders.


Many Australians utilise a Self Managed Superannuation Fund as a tool to take charge of and manage their retirement resources. Since the members of an SMSF typically act as the fund’s trustees and manage the fund for their gain. An SMSF offers a variety of investing options. Australia runs all superannuation funds as trusts.

The deed specifies the methodology for determining each member’s entitlement and, occasionally, the required contributions for a member when the trustee typically retains discretion over things like the fund’s investments and the choice of a beneficiary for the death benefit.

Is it a good idea to buy a property through a trust?

While owning properties through a trust may seem like the best option for some investors, asset protection is crucial for creating a real estate portfolio. It is practical to consult a qualified accountant and lawyer with experience in real estate investing before deciding whether or not to buy into a trust.

A trust arrangement improves the likelihood that, in the case of legal or creditor action, a person can not include property in an asset base. Additionally, it gives the trustee freedom when allocating income and capital gains to a group of beneficiaries. The income and any capital gains belong to you as the owner. They will be the trust’s property in a trust scenario, and the trust distributes the property following the conditions of the trust deed.

Buying property under a trust has some drawbacks also, notwithstanding the benefits of asset protection and the ability to distribute income and capital gains. Because of these drawbacks, one can not employ trusts as frequently as one might anticipate. When determining whether or not to purchase property through a trust, there are numerous aspects to look into. You can experience an unpleasant surprise if you do not address them.

What are the benefits of buying property through a trust?

A family trust offers a specific framework to people who desire to provide for future generations without paying stamp duty or other fees. A trust’s governing deed specifies what will happen to each beneficiary’s portion after passing, preventing contentious family disputes over the assets. The following are the benefits of buying a property under a trust –

  • Tax benefits

Tax benefits of buying property in a family trust are necessary to understand before one plans to acquire property through a family trust. A trust must submit its tax return and have its tax filing number. Trustees, however, may have to report the income from an investment property on their tax returns if they distribute all the revenue to the trust’s beneficiaries within a fiscal year.

Due to the fact that some receivers will be in lower tax categories than others, this income equality can lead to a tax reduction and save the members a tonne of money compared to if they had purchased an investment property alone.

  • Asset protection

An investment property held in trust by its trustee can be shielded from creditors when one of its beneficiaries files for bankruptcy or is subject to legal action. It implies that one can not use a property to pay off debts. It does not mean that one should try to restrict creditors’ rights.

A beneficiary who receives income from an investment property and later faces financial difficulty or legal action can shield the property from creditor claims. One of the main benefits of owning property through a trust is this.

  • Profit distribution

A trustee can transfer money to a beneficiary with a minimal tax rate instead of one already paying tax at a high marginal rate. Discretionary trusts are one type of trust that has access to several capital gains tax breaks.

Due to the trustee’s obligation to work in the beneficiaries’ best interests under the trust agreement, trusts can make it relatively simple to disburse money from investment properties.

  • Estate planning

It’s important to remember that family trust assets are not his personal property, so any attempt to dispose of them through your will will fail. The focus is typically on the transfer control after the current controller passes away rather than donating the trust’s assets.

To avoid legal conflicts, especially within families, the trust deed specifies how the trustee should act in such instances. When someone dies, some taxes and government fees may not apply to the transfer of property held in a trust.

When buying property through a trust, what should you be wary of?

The taxes treatment of trusts may change by legislation in the future. Depending on the scope and character, discretionary trusts may maintain an edge in asset preservation and estate planning.

The following are the problems that can arise from the inappropriate usage of trust structures:

  • The failure to make minute distributions before 30 June can result in paying tax at the highest marginal rate;
  • Failure to adequately handle succession planning for the appointor role;
  • The failure to appropriately deal with loan accounts and unpaid entitlements;
  • The improper amendment of trust deeds, which may have implications for duty and capital gains tax;
  • One may consider the trust as a foreign trust for duty and land tax due to improperly written beneficiary definitions.

Is there a difference between a self-managed super fund (SMSF) and a family trust?

A family member establishes a family trust for the benefit of the family. A SMSF offers its members more control over their retirement savings than an industry or retail super fund.

Family trusts have received little attention because of the false perception that their benefits have greatly lessened. A person can conceive a family trust as overly expensive and challenging, especially when contrasted with well-known SMSFs.

Family trusts are easier to manage than SMSFs since they have fewer restrictions and requirements rather than being more complicated.

The tax advantages that superannuation provides, along with the flexibility the funds offer in managing retirement assets. But there are also a lot of advantages to family trusts for buying an investment property.

Also Read: Reasons to Hire SMSF Accountants for Your SMSF Tax Return

Need Help With Your Tax Return?

  • Supportive and great management in every single way, I had a great experience with Tax Return Perth and their Business Tax Return services. I feel safe and satisfied with their services, also their experiences Tax Accountant Perth not only help me in the lodge the tax return but also gave the proper suggestions regarding my business. Thanks for your tax preparation services who really worked for me.
    Those who are looking for Tax Return Near Me, highly recommend Tax Return Perth for their excellent work in the field of tax lodgement.
    Pathma Naburn
  • I have no words to say about the phenomenal work by tax return Perth. Although they work from their office, their prompt response and effective communication make me believe that I have hired a personal accountant for Tax Return Filing myself. It's been close to 2 years they are handling my individual tax return as my long working hours in the office are not letting me concentrate on my tax issues. Their experienced team is well versed in managing tax return services and maintaining your financial health to its best. Your search for the best tax return near me ends with them as they won't let you down. Go try it and get mesmerised with their quality of work.
    Mayank Mehta
  • Tax Return Perth has been a lifesaver for me. I value their expertise and ongoing compassion and kindness. We have been with other Tax Return Perth for several years and have referred them on to a number of our friends with small businesses. You can not fault their Tax Preparation work ethic and quality of work, and they always makes themselves available. We wouldn't be where we are at with our small business without them as our accountant. Would definitely recommend Tax Return Perth to people living near Perth, CBD
    Yeshey Nidup
Paying Too Much For Tax or Need an Expert Tax Return Consultant?
Copyright 2020 Tax Return Perth All Rights Reserved.
Enquire Now
Call Us Now