From 1 July 2016, the Queensland Government has extended the duty exemption for transfers of assets used in a primary production property. The extension removes the requirement that the transfer is made as a gift, and provides additional opportunities for the transfer of primary production business assets within families.

This means that, from 1 July 2016, a transfer is exempt from duty:

  • if it is a transfer to a family member (including spouses of family members) of:
    • land and other assets used in the primary production business such as livestock or plant and equipment; or
    • residential land that is next to the primary production land;
  • provided the seller is using the asset in carrying on a business of primary production and it is intended the buyer will use it in a business of primary production; and
  • whether or not it is a gift.

The duty exemption is no longer restricted to gifts, so can be available where the relative pays for some or all of the assets, or takes over liabilities.

Caution needs to be exercised to ensure that the family members are within the defined class of relatives under the legislation.

This represents a significant opportunity for primary production businesses to take advantage of the concession as part of a restructure, estate planning exercise or business succession plan.