The State Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2012, which received assent on 11 April 2012, contains amendments to State taxes and duties. This includes amendments to:
Duties Act 1997
These amendments commence on the date of assent unless otherwise stated and include:
- Transfers to self managed superannuation funds - s62A
- Deceased estates - s63
- Transfers made in partial conformity with agreements - s64C
- Break-up of marriages and other relationships - s68
- Transfers between married couples and de facto partners - s104A-104C
- Acquisitions of interests in landholders - S159A
- Corporate reconstructions - s273A-273F - From 1/7/2012
- Transfer of business property between family members - s274
- Definition of related person
Transfers to self managed superannuation funds - s62A
The amendment limits the application of the concession that applies to transfers to self managed superannuation funds. The property must be held solely for the benefit of the transferor.
The amendment allows the concession to be applied in respect of a self managed superannuation fund that has not yet been confirmed as a complying superannuation fund.
The amendment also allows the Chief Commissioner to assess or reassess the liability to duty in respect of a transfer if satisfied that the fund was not a complying superannuation fund at the time the liability for duty arose.
Deceased estates - s63
The amendment requires a transmission application made by a beneficiary under a will (with the consent of the legal personal representative of a deceased person) to be treated as a transfer of dutiable property by the legal personal representative. This ensures that ad valorem duty can be charged if the transfer involves a variation to the trusts contained in the will.
The amendment applies to any transmission application made on or after the commencement of the amendments even if consent of the legal personal representative concerned was given before the commencement date.
Transfers made in partial conformity with agreements - s64C
New section 64C provides a duty concession for certain transfers of dutiable property that are made in partial conformity with an agreement for the sale or transfer of dutiable property.
The concession will apply where a transfer is in conformity with an agreement (in respect of which duty has been paid) apart from the fact that the share in the dutiable property transferred to one or more of the transferees under the transfer exceeds the share agreed to be transferred to the relevant transferee or transferees.
Duty is chargeable only on the excess proportion of the dutiable value of the dutiable property, calculated by reference to the proportion by which the share transferred exceeds the share agreed to be transferred.
The concession extends to transfers occurring after the commencement of the section where they are made in partial conformity with agreements entered into before the commencement of the section.
Break-up of marriages and other relationships - s68
The amendment extends the exemption to transfers of superannuation interests from the trustee or custodian of the trustee of a superannuation fund to the trustee or custodian of the trustee of another superannuation fund for the purpose of providing a retirement benefit to a party to the marriage or relationship.
Transfers between married couples and de facto partners - s104A-104C
The amendment remakes and extends an existing exemption that applies to certain transfers of dutiable property used or intended to be used as the principal place of residence of a married couple or de facto partners.
The new provision will also allow a partial exemption to be claimed where the land is used partially as a principal place of residence, and partially for other purposes. The provisions are similar to the rules that apply to the charging of land tax in respect of a principal place of residence.
Acquisitions of interests in landholders - S159A
The amendment makes further provision for the circumstances in which an acquisition of an interest in a private unit trust scheme or private company will be subject to duty, so as to prevent an avoidance practice.
The amendment provides that, for the purpose of determining whether an acquisition is dutiable, the land holdings of the private unit trust scheme or private company are taken to include any land holdings transferred to the person acquiring the interest, or an associated person, within 12 months before the acquisition. This means that those land holdings count toward the duty free threshold of $2,000,000.
Corporate reconstructions - s273A-273F - From 1/7/2012
The amendment establishes a new exemption for corporate reconstruction transactions and corporate consolidation transactions. The new provision replaces the existing exemption for ‘top hatting’ arrangements and for corporate reconstructions.
The amendment removes the requirement for the guidelines to be approved by the Treasurer and incorporates into the Act the matters addressed by the previous guidelines. The amendment also extends the provisions to an acquisition of an interest in a landholder that is made as part of a corporate consolidation.
Section 281 (as in force before its repeal) will continue to apply to a pre-approved transaction that occurs on or after 1 July 2012 and before 1 January 2013.
Transfer of business property between family members - s274
The amendment extends the exemption from duty for certain transfers, leases and assignments of primary production land, and transfers of shares in a share management fishery, between specified family members.
The amendment extends the exemption to transfers, leases and assignments where the transferor, lessor or assignor is the spouse, child, grandchild, niece or nephew of the transferee, lessee or assignee (or is the child, niece or nephew of the spouse of the transferee, lessee or assignee). A spouse includes a former spouse, a de facto partner and a former de facto partner.
Definition of related person
The amendment extends the definition of related person. A related person will include the various relationships that arise because of marriage or a de facto relationship.
Amendment to Land Tax Management Act 1956
The amendment ensures that self managed superannuation funds that are complying superannuation funds under section 42A of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 of the Commonwealth are not treated as special trusts for land tax purposes. Beneficial owners of land held by such funds are generally not liable for land tax for the portion of the taxable value of the land that does not exceed the tax-free threshold set out in the Land Tax Management Act 1956. The amendment ensures such funds are entitled to the tax-free threshold.
The amendment also enables special disability trusts within the meaning of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 of the Commonwealth to be treated as concessional trusts for land tax purposes. The effect of the amendment is that a land tax exemption can be claimed in respect of land used as a principal place of residence by the principal beneficiary of a special disability trust.
Amendment to Payroll Tax Act 2007
The amendment clarifies a provision that exempts from payroll tax wages paid or payable in respect of 14 weeks maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave. The amendment provides that wages are exempt from payroll tax if they are paid or payable in respect of a period of maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave equivalent to 14 weeks part-time leave at a reduced rate of pay. For example, the exemption may apply to wages paid or payable for maternity leave that extends to 28 weeks at half of the part-time rate of pay that would normally apply to the employee.