Key Points:

South Australia has abolished stamp duties on all non-real property transactions, and will abolish it for certain real property transactions

In its budget handed down yesterday South Australia has abolished stamp duties on all non-real property transactions, effective immediately.                                                                          

This means that transfers of shares in a company registered in South Australia, transfers of debts, business assets such as goodwill etc. on transactions that occurred on or after 18 June 2015 are no longer liable for duty.

As part of the 2015-16 State Budget, the Government on 18 June 2015 announced the following stamp duty measures:

  • abolition of duty on non-quoted marketable securities;
  • abolition of duty on transfers of non-real property;
  • phased abolition of duty on transfers of non-residential, non-primary production real property;
  • abolition of duty on transfers of units in unit trusts; and
  • removal of the $1 million landholder threshold.

Duty on transfers of non-residential, non-primary production real property will be phased out starting 1 July 2016, when the rate of duty will be reduced by 1/3 per year before being fully abolished from 1 July 2018.

For any share transfer entered into pursuant to a share sale agreement dated between 18 June 2015 and the date on which the Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Budget 2015) Bill 2015 is assented to by the Governor, the stamp duty will be paid by the Government on behalf of the taxpayer by way of ex gratia relief.

Until duty on transfers of non-residential, non-primary production real property is abolished on 1 July 2018, duty will continue to apply to transfers of:

  • an estate or interest in land (including land covered by water);
  • an estate or interest in: - a mining tenement (although a concessional rate of duty may apply); - a pipeline constructed under the authority of a pipeline licence under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000; and - an interest conferred by a forestry property (vegetation) agreement, within the meaning of the Forest Property Act 2000;
  • 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; and
  • goods that have a significant connection with the transferred land (except those goods specifically excluded).

Duty on issues, transfers and redemptions of units in a unit trust will be abolished from 1 July 2018, but from 18 June 2015 duty will only be payable where the trusts hold land.

The $1 million landholder duty threshold will be removed from 1 July 2018. Details of all the budget measures above are set out in RevenueSA – Information Circular No: 76.