2017 Amendments

State Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017

The State Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017 received assent on 11 April 2017.

The amendments commence on the date of assent unless otherwise indicated. Amendments were made to:

Duties Act 1997

Instruments in digital form

The amendments clarify that the application of that Act that apply to written instruments also apply to instruments that are in digital form.

No double duty

The amendment extends a provision to the charging of nominal duty (rather than ad valorem duty) on certain transfers of property to the custodian of a trustee of a self-managed superannuation fund where duty on an agreement for the sale or transfer of the property has been paid and the purchaser is the trustee.

Change of Trustee

The amendments ensure that nominal duty of $50 is chargeable on certain transfers of trust property that are a consequence of the retirement or appointment of trustees only if the Chief Commissioner is satisfied that the transfers are not part of a scheme to avoid duty that involves conferring an interest, in relation to the trust property, on a new trustee or other person so as to cause any person to cease holding a beneficial interest in that property. Ad valorem duty may be chargeable on those transfers, instead of nominal duty, if the Chief Commissioner fails to be satisfied that they are not part of such a scheme.

Duty Exemption

The amendments:

  1. provide for an exemption from duty for the vesting of land occurring as a consequence of the merger of credit unions or of authorised deposit-taking institutions with mutual structures.

  2. extend existing exemptions from duty on transfers following the break-up of marriages and de facto relationships to cover such transfers to trustees under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 of the Commonwealth.

Landholder

The amendments:

  1. make further provision in relation to the aggregation of interests acquired by a person in a landholder by setting out circumstances to be taken into account in determining whether acquisitions form, evidence, give effect to or arise from substantially one arrangement.

  2. ensure that the liabilities of a landholder are disregarded in determining whether a person has an interest or a significant interestin the landholder.

  3. make further provision in relation to the tracing of interests through linked entities of a unit trust scheme or company for the purposes of determining whether the scheme or company is a landholder.

  4. extend an anti-avoidance measure which ensures that certain landholdings transferred from a unit trust scheme or company within 12 months of a person acquiring an interest in the scheme or company are counted when determining whether the scheme or company is a landholder so that the measure covers agreements for the sale or transfer of landholdings.

  5. ensure put option and a call option are treated in the same way as uncompleted agreements for the purposes of assessing liability to landholder duty.

  6. make further provision to prevent a person who enters into an agreement to purchase shares or units in a landholder avoiding landholder duty by opting to defer registration of the purchase.

Primary Production land

The amendments extend existing exemptions from duty connected with transfers between family members of land used for primary production to cover transfers from a self-managed superannuation fund where a member of the fund and the person to whom the land is transferred are family members.

MySuper

The amendments provide for an exemption from duty connected with transfers of property between superannuation funds that are required to be made under transitional arrangements relating to the Commonwealth’s MySuper reforms.

Tax avoidance

The amendments make further provision for the test to be applied in determining the amount of duty that a person is liable to pay as a result of a tax avoidance scheme that is of an artificial, blatant or contrived nature.

Definition of Associated Persons

The amendments extend the circumstances in which a trustee and another trustee, a natural person and a trustee, and a private company and a trustee are treated as being “associated” for the purposes of liability for duty, by tracing through to sub-trusts.

Land Tax Management Act 1956

The amendment requires a Government entity that leases land to disclose to the lessee in writing, that the lessee can be liable for land tax on the land.

Payroll Tax Act 2007

The amendment provides that certain wages paid by employment agents who on-hire their common law employees to clients of the agents are exempt from payroll tax if wages paid by the clients to their own employees are “exempt wages”.

The amendments exempts from payroll tax wages paid under the Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors Programme.

Last updated: 13 April 2017