The Duties Amendment Act 2009 (Vic) has now been passed by the Victorian Parliament and received royal assent on 7 July 2009.

The Act intends to close certain perceived loop holes in the Duties Act 2000 (Vic), including by imposing duty on the following lease transactions:

  • a grant of a lease for consideration (other than rent reserved); and
  • a transfer, assignment or surrender of a lease for consideration.

Since our previous articles,1 some amendments were made to the Bill before it was passed by Parliament, including:

  • the insertion of a definition of ‘rent reserved’ which is defined as ‘the rent paid or payable during the term of the lease and any amount paid or payable for the right to use the land under the lease’. The definition includes an example: - ‘Amounts paid under the lease for the following purposes are payments for the right to use the land under the lease –
    • rates
    • charges
    • taxes
    • maintenance
    • utilities
    • legal costs required to be paid by the lessee on behalf of the lessor in relation to the grant of the lease
    • insurance premiums
    • marketing costs
    • car park contributions’
  • the period for payment of duty after liability arises remains 3 months. The government backed down from its initial proposal to reduce this period to 14 days as a result of parliamentary opposition to the change.