Trust account reporting legislation

Trust account reporting legislation

Various industries within Australia hold or receive money on behalf of others. The entities operating within these industries, are required to open and manage a separate trust/client bank account under the relevant legislation, based on their industry.

In order to summarise the applicable legislation relating to the various industries, the following table sets out the most common trust accounts, its relevant legislation for management of the accounts, along with the deadline for completion of the trust account’s audit.

Trust accounts and applicable legislation

Organisation typeAudit deadline for reporting purpose
Real Estate Agent Trust Account
- Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978
- Real Estate and Business Agents (General) Regulations 1979
- Estate Agents Act 1980 (Victoria)
- Estate Agents (General, Accounts and Audit) Regulations 2018
3 months after year end:
e.g. 31 December year end requires lodgement by 31 March
Settlement Agent Trust Account
- Settlement Agents Act 1981
- Settlement Agents Regulations 1982
3 months after year end:
e.g. 30 June year end requires lodgement by 30 September
Conveyancers Trust Account
- Conveyancers Act 2006
- Conveyancers (Trust Account and General) Regulations 2018
7 weeks after year end
Motor Vehicle Dealers Consignment Trust Accounts
- Motor Vehicle Dealers Act 1973
- Motor Vehicle Dealers (Sales) Regulations 1974
3 months after year end:
e.g. 30 June year end requires lodgement by 30 September
Accountants/Member in Public Practice Trust Accounts
- APES 310 Client Monies
3 months after year end:
e.g. 30 June year end requires lodgement by 30 September
Legal Trust Account
- Legal Profession Act 2008
- Legal Profession Regulations 2009
- Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Victoria)
- Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015
31 May of each year
Travel Agent Trust Account
- International Air Transport Association (‘IATA’) criteria specified in 2.3 in Australia section of the Travel Agent’s Handbook
4 months after year end:
e.g. 30 June year end requires lodgement by 31 October

The legislation outlined above have certain audit/examiner requirements for audit engagements to be undertaken on an annual basis.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is an interpretation of rules, regulations and standards. It should not be considered as general or specific advice and neither purports, nor is intended to be advice on any particular matter. No responsibility can be accepted for those who act on the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific advice. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.