In addition to the changes to the economic entitlement rules, the State Taxation Acts Amendment Act (2019) introduced a number of other changes to duties, land tax, payroll tax and land valuations which developers should be aware of. This includes the following:

Duties

  • The foreign purchaser additional duty rate increased from 7 percent to 8 percent, meaning the rate of duty for foreign purchasers of residential property will increase to 13.5 percent overall. The new rate applies to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2019.
  • A significant change in the corporate reconstruction duty A full duty exemption is no longer available, but instead replaced by a concessional rate of duty (10 percent of the duty otherwise payable, so a 90 percent concession). The provisions were also changed to widen the eligibility criteria.
  • Fixtures of significant value (valued over $2 million) transferred independently of the underlying land are now subject to duty. This applies to arrangements entered into on or after 19 June 2019.
  • A duty concession for transfers of commercial and industrial properties in regional Victoria will be progressively introduced (up to a 50 percent concession by 1 July 2023).

Land tax

  • The absentee owner surcharge rate will increase from 1.5 percent to 2 percent for the 2020 land tax year.
  • The principal place of residence land tax exemption for contiguous land on a separate title will be limited to properties in regional Victoria from the 2020 land tax year.

Payroll tax

  • The Victorian payroll tax-free wage threshold will be progressively increased from $650,000 to $700,000 by 1 July 2022.
  • The payroll tax rate for regional employers will be progressively reduced to 1.2125 percent by 1 July 2022, and the definition of a regional employer has been amended.
  • The payroll tax exemption for wages paid to employees on maternity leave has been expanded to all types of parental leave.

Land valuations

  • A simplified methodology has been introduced for determining the site value of buildings listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.