As part of the 2015-2016 State Budget, the government has abolished stamp duty on transfers of non-real property, together with stamp duty on transfers of non-residential, non-primary production real property, with phasing-in commencing from 1st July 2016.
Abolishment of Stamp Duty on Some Items
The abolishment of stamp duty on transfers of non-real property applies to items such as plant and equipment (which are not fixed to land), goodwill, intellectual property, receivables and transfers of statutory leases and licences, such as fishing licences, taxi licences and gaming machine licences and entitlements.
Non-Residential, Non-Primary Production and Real Property (“Qualifying Land”) to be Phased in
A one-third reduction was brought in on the 7th of December 2015. Phasing-in of stamp duty abolishment will continue with another third reduction on the 1st July 2017, with the complete abolition of stamp duty occurring on the 1st of July 2018.
Until duty on transfers of non-residential, non-primary production real property is abolished on the 1st of July 2018, duty will continue to apply to the following transfers:
- an estate or interest in land
- an estate or interest in a mining tenement, pipeline construction (under the authority of a pipeline licence), or an interest conferred by a forest property agreement
- an option to acquire land
- a right to acquire an estate or interest in land
- any other right or interest prescribed by the regulations
- anything fixed to land
- goods which have a significant connection to the transferred land.
What is Qualifying Land?
Land which is being used other than for residential purposes or primary production as defined in section 50 of the 2015 Budget Act.
To determine this, the Commissioner will rely on land use codes when considering land to be residential or primary production land. Qualifying land will be seen as: commercial, industrial, vacant land (exceptions apply) institutions, public utilities, recreation and mining and quarrying.
Residential land is determined to be land which will predominantly be used for that purpose. If the land is vacant but within a zone established by a Development Plant that envisages the use or potential use to be residential, it will be classed as such.
Changes to stamp duty payments as outlined in the 2015-2016 will affect those with an interest in commercial property. For a full understanding of these changes and to ensure you receive the benefits of them, it is important to engage a conveyancer with specialised commercial experience.