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Australia – May 2014 Stamp Duty Developments.

23 June, 2014

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – Tax

 

Transfer Duty

 

QLD: Solomon v Commissioner Of State Revenue [2014] QCAT 124 


In Solomon v Commissioner of State Revenue [2014] QCAT 124 the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal) dismissed the taxpayer’s application to the Tribunal to review the Commissioner’s objection decision on the basis that the Tribunal’s jurisdiction is only enlivened where payment of the disputed amount is made prior to the filing of the application. 


Facts 


The taxpayer received a distribution of real property from a superannuation fund. At the time of lodgement of the transfer form, an exemption was claimed by the taxpayer under section 119 of the Duties Act 2001 (Qld) (Duties Act) in relation to exemptions for trust acquisitions or surrender in superannuation funds. 


The Commissioner advised that the exemption did not apply and issued an assessment notice for the amount of AUD 56,430.90 in respect of the transaction. An objection was made against the assessment which was disallowed by the Commissioner on 21 November 2013. 


The taxpayer then made an application to the Tribunal to review the decision on 24 January 2014. 


The Commissioner applied to strike-out/dismiss the application on the basis that the taxpayer has not complied with the requirements set out in section 69(1)(b) of the Taxation Administration Act 2001 (TAA). This provision requires the taxpayer to pay the disputed amount prior to applying to the Tribunal for a review of the decision. The taxpayer had argued that the Tribunal should exercise its discretion to waive the requirement to pay duty prior to the application for review, as the transfer was conditional on no duty being payable or it would be cancelled if the application was unsuccessful. 


Held 


The Tribunal found for the Commissioner and dismissed the taxpayer’s application.
The Tribunal found that there was no jurisdiction to hear the application. It was considered that for the Tribunal to be able to exercise its discretion to waive compliance with section 69(1)(b) of the TAA, it must have jurisdiction to hear the matter. 


Accordingly, as the taxpayer had failed to comply with the relevant requirements of the TAA the application was dismissed.

 

State Budget

 

VIC: State Taxation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Vic) 


The State Taxation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Vic) received Royal Assent on 13 May 2014. The Bill passed all stages of the Victorian Parliament with four Government amendments made in the Legislative Assembly. 


Among other things, the Bill makes changes to the Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012 (Vic), the Congestion Levy Act 2005 (Vic) and the Gambling Regulations Act 2003 (Vic) in response to a number of proposals announced in the Victorian State Budget.


The changes in relation to the congestion levy and the gambling regulations will commence on the day after the Bill received Royal Assent. The amendments to the fire service levy will commence from 1 July 2014 to coincide with the beginning of the new levy year. 


VIC: Building A Better Victoria (State Tax And Other Legislation Amendment) Bill 2014 (Vic) 


The Building a Better Victoria (State Tax and Other Legislation Amendment) Bill 2014 (Vic) passed both houses on 11 June 2014. The Bill proposes to amend various State Revenue Acts including some measures that were announced in the Victorian State Budget.
The Bill proposes to amend the Duties Act 2000 (Vic) in the following ways:

 

  • abolish duty on life insurance;
  • provide for the duty treatment of insurance riders;
  • extend the requirement to be a registered insurer to include certain insurers who are registered under the Life Insurance Act 1996 (Cth); and 
  • increase the rate of duty on the application for registration or transfer of a motor vehicle by AUD 0.40 per AUD 200 from 1 July 2014.

The Bill also proposes to amend various measures in the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000, the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000, the Land Tax Act 2005, the Payroll Tax Act 2007, and the Taxation Administration Act 1997


Note that the Bill was amended in the Legislative Assembly, but none of these amendments related to changes to the Duties Act 2000 (Vic). 


NSW: State Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (NSW) 


The State Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW) passed all stages of NSW Parliament and received Royal Assent on 20 May 2014.
The Act will amend the Duties Act 1997 (NSW) to:

 

  • specify a time limit for the lodging of landholder acquisition statements; 
  • specify new exceptions to rules relating to the aggregation of interests of related persons and associated persons; and 
  • include minor miscellaneous amendments.

 

Administration

 

NSW: State Revenue Further Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW)

 

The State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW) was introduced into NSW Legislative Assembly.

 

The Bill proposed to amend various provisions of the Duties Act 1997 (NSW) including in the following ways:

 

  • preventing avoidance practices by imposing duty on certain transactions involving options to purchase land; 
  • preventing avoidance practices by imposing duty on the novation of an agreement for the lease of land in New South Wales, as if it were a transfer of dutiable property; and 
  • making further provisions for duty payable on transactions involving self-managed superannuation funds.

The Bill also proposes to amend various provisions of the Payroll Tax Act 2007 (NSW), Payroll Tax Rebate Scheme (Jobs Action Plan) Act 2011 (NSW) and the Land Tax Management Act 1956 (NSW). 


The provisions in the Bill dealing with options were formerly introduced in a substantially similar form in the State Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 , which became the State Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 . The proposed amendments regarding options were removed from State Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, before it became an Act.

 

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For further information, please contact:

 

Geoffrey Mann, Partner, Ashurst 
geoffrey.mann@ashurst.com

 

Nika Dharmadasa, Ashurst
nika.dharmadasa@ashurst.com


Karen Czarny, Ashurst
karen.czarny@ashurst.com

 

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