A New Year stamp duty update

A New Year stamp duty update

As we start a new year, it is timely to summarise some of the more significant stamp duty developments across Australia which have occurred in recent months which may impact your business. Jane Crisp summarises the changes.


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South Australian changes

  • Effective 18 June 2015, South Australia has abolished stamp duty on transfers of unlisted shares and transfers of non-land business assets.
  • The issue, redemption and transfers of units in private unit trusts will only be subject to duty if the trust holds land effective from 18 June 2015.
  • Corporate reconstruction relief has been expanded and is now available for 100 percent of the duty. There is no longer a requirement that “substantially all” of the property of the transferor be transferred and there are no pre-association or post-association tests.
  • Stamp duty on transfers of commercial properties is reduced by one-third from 7 December 2015. There will be a further one third reduction on 1 July 2017 followed by full abolition on 1 July 2018.

Victorian foreign purchaser surcharge

  • Victoria has introduced a 3 percent stamp duty surcharge on direct and indirect acquisitions of residential property by foreign purchasers effective 1 July 2015. The concept of residential property is broad and can also include hotels and serviced apartments.
  • There is a discretionary exemption from the surcharge for foreign property developers whose commercial activities add to the supply of housing stock in Victoria. Foreign purchasers should consider their eligibility for an exemption.

ACT changes

  • Effective 25 November 2015, corporate reconstruction relief is now available for 100 percent of the duty.

New South Wales changes

  • Duty on transfers of unlisted shares and units, transfers of non-land business assets and mortgages is scheduled to be abolished on 1 July 2016.
  • The proposed abolition of these duties has been deferred on a number of previous occasions so it will be necessary to wait and see whether the abolition of these duties proceeds.

If your business is impacted by these changes and you require more information, please contact your KPMG Indirect Tax contact.

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