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Family trust dividends 15 Aug 2017

When distributing dividends to beneficiaries of a family trust, you must do so in proportion to the total distribution to each beneficiary. You cannot pick and choose who gets the dividends.

The same rule does not apply to other forms of income. For example, you can elect who gets the interest and who gets the rent. You do not have to distribute these in any set proportions.

The imputation credits must be distributed in the same ratio to dividends that the trust received them.

Here is an illustration:

If you decide trust income is to be distributed in the following proportions: A is to get 20% of the income, B is to get 30% and C is to get 50%  and the income comprises dividends of $100, rent of $200 and interest of $300. You must allocate the dividends to A, B and C as follows: A: $20, B: $30 and C: $50. However, if you want to do so, you could choose to allocate most of the rent to say C and then top up the remainder of the distributions from the interest.

 

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