Australia: Stamp duty changes

Australia: Stamp duty changes

Among the stamp duty developments across Australia in recent months that may affect business taxpayers are the following changes.

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South Australian changes

  • Effective 18 June 2015, South Australia repealed stamp duty on transfers of unlisted shares and transfers of non-land business assets.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% 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 phase-out on 1 July 2018.

Victorian foreign purchaser surcharge

  • Victoria has introduced a 3% 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 need to consider their eligibility for an exemption.

ACT changes

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

New South Wales changes

Stamp duty on transfers of unlisted shares and units, transfers of non-land business assets and mortgages is scheduled to be repealed 1 July 2016. However, the proposed repeal of these duties has been deferred on a number of previous occasions. Accordingly, it remains to be seen whether repeal of these duties proceeds.

 

 

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