I read in the Financial Review a page one headline to the effect "trusts are under attack from ATO".

We normally get our tax news from a variety of subscriptions rather than the Fin Review, so I read on with interest thinking we had missed something.  After all, there has been plenty of action on attacking trusts in the last year or two, so another one should not be a surprise.

The thrust of the article was that capital gains made in trusts may not attract the 50% discount that normally applies if the investment has been held for more than 12 months.  Surprised and a bit alarmed, I went to the ATO Ruling that was referred to, only to discover that there were no new principles espoused at all.  In essence, the Ruling was saying that if eg shares had been acquired for profit making by resale, then the 50% discount would not apply.  Now this is  a well known principle and applies regardless of the owner of the investment.

Conclusion?  Don't get your tax advice from newspaper headlines.  Surprise, surprise - they may be there to create a story, rather than impart genuine information!