Land Tax for Trusts with Foreign Beneficiaries in NSW

Understanding Land Tax for Trusts with Foreign Beneficiaries in NSW



Understanding Land Tax for Trusts with Foreign Beneficiaries in NSW

In New South Wales (NSW), trustees managing trusts need to be aware of the implications of having foreign beneficiaries on land tax obligations. Trusts with foreign beneficiaries may be subject to additional land tax charges, necessitating careful consideration and planning.

Navigating Land Tax for Trusts with Foreign Beneficiaries in NSW.

Identifying Trust Tax Liability

Under NSW regulations, trustees are classified as foreign persons if any beneficiary holds a substantial interest in the trust and is not ordinarily resident in Australia, or if they are a foreign corporation or government entity. To avoid surcharge land tax, discretionary trusts should ensure that they have no foreign beneficiaries and that their trust terms cannot be amended to include foreign individuals as potential beneficiaries.

Navigating Discretionary Trusts

Discretionary trusts play a crucial role in estate planning and asset protection. Trustees must carefully manage the trust’s structure and beneficiaries to minimize tax liabilities and ensure compliance with regulations.

Amendment of Trust Deed

Timing is essential when amending trust deeds to avoid land tax obligations. Trustees should be aware of specific deadlines and regulations governing trust amendments to maximize tax efficiency and minimize liabilities.

Utilizing Tax Treaties

Foreign entities from countries with Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) with Australia may be entitled to relief under these agreements. Trustees should explore the potential benefits of DTAs to mitigate land tax liabilities for trusts with foreign beneficiaries.

Special Considerations for Testamentary Trusts

Testamentary trusts created upon someone’s death may qualify for exemptions from surcharge land tax and purchaser duty under certain conditions. Trustees should be aware of the eligibility criteria and time limits associated with these exemptions to ensure compliance and minimize tax liabilities.


Managing land tax obligations for trusts with foreign beneficiaries in NSW requires careful attention to detail and compliance with regulations. Trustees should seek professional advice to navigate this complex legal landscape effectively.

Waterhouse Lawyers Can Help

Waterhouse Lawyers specializes in advising trustees on land tax matters and assisting with compliance issues. Contact us today for expert guidance and support.



Law Council of Australia logo - Tax Lawyer Sydney Melbourne
law society of new south wales logo - Tax Lawyer Sydney Melbourne
the tax institute logo - Tax Lawyer Sydney Melbourne
Transfer Pricing Association Global logo - Tax Lawyer Sydney Melbourne