Special Disability Trusts (SDTs) are vital instruments in supporting individuals with disabilities. To ensure their effective management and protect the interests of beneficiaries, trustees have specific reporting obligations. This post provides a clear overview of these requirements, helping you navigate compliance and fulfill your responsibilities.

Key Reporting Requirements:

  • Financial Statements:
    • Must be prepared as of June 30th of the relevant financial year.
    • Must comply with Australian Accounting Standards.
    • Must include:
      • Profit and loss statement for the year.
      • Balance sheet with detailed notes.
      • Depreciation schedule for assets (if applicable).
  • Tax Return:
    • Include a copy of the tax return if required by the ATO for the year.
  • Statutory Declaration:
    • Confirm that trust funds (excluding administration costs and taxes) were used for:
      • Disability-related care costs for the beneficiary.
      • Accommodation costs for the beneficiary.
      • Discretionary spending for the beneficiary’s benefit.
    • Declare that no payments were made to “immediate family members” for services, including care.
    • Confirm the information provided is accurate and complete.
    • State if a tax return was not required by the ATO.

Reporting Timeframe:

  • All documents must be submitted by March 31st of the following year.
  • Limited exceptions and waiver notices may apply for delayed statements.

Financial Statements Preparation:

  • If a trustee corporation is involved, statements must comply with relevant regulations.
  • Otherwise, statements must be prepared by:
    • A member of CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants, or National Institute of Accountants.
  • The preparer cannot be an immediate family member of the beneficiary or trustees.

Fulfilling these reporting requirements ensures transparency and accountability, safeguarding the trust’s resources and ultimately benefiting individuals with disabilities. By adhering to these guidelines, you can contribute to a more secure and supportive environment for those who rely on SDTs.

Additional Resources:

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Disclaimer and Warning
The information above is of a general nature only.  It should not be used as a source to make financial decisions.  It’s also important to note that the legislation and figures related to this topic tend to change regularly and therefore the information above may not reflect the current status.  We recommend that if you are looking for advice on this matter, you should contact us.