New South Wales Housing Affordability legislative amendments

The State Revenue Legislation Amendment (Surcharge) Bill 2017 (the Bill) has been introduced into the New South Wales (NSW) Parliament to give effect to amendments to certain aspects of the NSW Government’s Housing Affordability Strategy following industry concerns. In particular, the Bill amends the Duties Act 1997 (NSW), the Land Tax Act 1956 (NSW) and the Land Tax Management Act 1956 (NSW) to provide an exemption from, and allow for refunds of surcharge purchaser duty and surcharge land tax payable in respect of residential land by a foreign person that is an Australian corporation when the land is used for the construction of new homes, or is subdivided and sold for the purposes of the construction of new homes.

The Bill also makes amendments to provide that the small business declaration required for the purposes of the small business exemption from duty on an insurance policy is to be provided in a manner approved by the Chief Commissioner (replacing the current requirement that it be provided in writing).

Victorian State Revenue – update on smart forms

The Victorian State Revenue Office has published a suite of enhancements for the digital duties form, in addition a reference guide, which explains the changes.

Revenue NSW’s new system to process surcharge purchaser duty transactions

Revenue NSW has announced that from the 9 October 2017, surcharge purchaser duty transactions can be processed on the Revenue NSW Electronic Duties Return (EDR) system. The interim arrangement for processing surcharge purchaser duty is no longer available.

Land tax decisions

The following decisions relevant to land taxes were handed down in the last month:

●The Supreme Court of Victoria (Court of Appeal) in has upheld the decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) in relation to a determination of the appropriate value of land. The Tribunal concluded that the value of land for land tax purposes for a site used for public infrastructure assets (including a train and bus terminal) was substantially below those on which the Commissioner’s assessments had been based, but the true site value in each year was not nil. The Court, in dismissing the appeal, held that it was reasonably open to the Tribunal to reach its conclusion and was entitled to reject the applicants’ contention that the land had no value because the station facility was a loss-making operation.

●The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) in has dismissed the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue’s appeal against the decision of the Tribunal. The Tribunal had set aside land tax assessments and held that the taxpayer was exempt from land tax pursuant to section 10AA of the based on the land being used for primary production.