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Australia To Remove Disability Trust Barriers

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Australian citizens with severe disability and their carers are being asked to comment on draft legislation that will remove income tax barriers to make it easier for people to contribute to a Special Disability Trust (SDT).

In releasing the exposure draft legislation and draft explanatory material the Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten said: "These measures deliver on the government's commitment to help support people with severe disability, their families and carers."

The amendments make SDTs more beneficial for families by providing a capital gains tax (CGT) exemption for assets transferred into an SDT for no consideration; extending the CGT main residence exemption to SDTs; providing a CGT exemption for the recipient of the principal beneficiary's main residence, if their ownership interest ends within two years of the principal beneficiary's death; and ensuring equivalent taxation treatment amongst SDTs established under different Acts.

These changes will apply from the 2006-07 income year, to align with when SDTs were first able to be established.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, said: "Special Disability Trusts are another tool for carers and families of people with a disability to assist in future planning to support their loved one."

Shorten added: "The government remains committed to a strong process of consultation on tax measures and is conducting a two-week consultation period on this legislation to ensure it is introduced into Parliament as soon as possible."