NSW Office of State Revenue to change its name

Under Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Revenue NSW) Order 2017, with effect from 31 July 2017, the NSW Office of State Revenue’s name will change to Revenue NSW.

State and Territory Budget measures now law

With all 2017-18 State and Territory Budgets now handed down, with the exception of Western Australia, the following legislation to give effect to many of the Budget measures has been enacted:

·       The Queensland Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 was assented to on 22 June 2017. The Bill amends the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 (QLD) and the Land Tax Act 2010 (QLD) to implement the 2017-18 QLD Budget measures.

·       The NSW State Revenue Amendment (Budget Measures) Bill 2017 was assented on 27 June 2017, and makes various amendments to the Duties Act 1997 (NSW), the Land Tax Act 1956 (NSW) and the Land Tax Management Act 1956 (NSW) to implement the NSW 2017-18 State Budget measures.

·       The Victorian State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2017 was assented on 27 June 2017 and gives effect to the various measures in the 2017-18 Victorian State Budget, including the Homes for Victorians’ strategy.

·       The Northern Territory Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 was assented on 27 June 2017 and gives effect to revenue measures as part of the 2017-18 Northern Territory Budget, including the increase in stamp duty rate on high value transactions.

·       The Tasmanian Taxation and Grants Legislation (Housing Construction Amendments) Bill 2017 was assented on 30 June 2017 and changes the way stamp duty on house and land packages is charged, and to extend the first home buyers grant, as announced in the 2017-18 Tasmanian Budget.

Latest land tax decisions

The following recent decisions were made in relation to land tax and rating issues:

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Strathavon Resort Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] held that the land tax exemption for low cost accommodation (under section 10Q of the Land Tax Management Act 1956 (NSW)) was unavailable because the dwelling on the land was not registered as a boarding house as required.

The Supreme Court of WA Court of Appeal in Caratti and Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] has dismissed an appeal from a decision of the State Administrative Tribunal, finding that the Appellant’s son had no right under the terms of a will to use the property as his place of residence, and hence the land was not eligible for land tax primary residence exemption.

The NSW Land and Environment Court in Karimbla Properties v Council of the City of Sydney; Bayside City Council; and North Sydney Council [2017] has held that land on which preparatory works for residential development was underway was incorrectly categorised for council rate purposes as ‘business’, and should have been ‘residential’ according to the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).

The Supreme Court of Queensland in WB Rural Pty Limited v Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] has held that there was no jurisdictional error in the Commissioner’s objection decision that a trust was not eligible for the primary production exemption from land tax as the trust had failed to provide evidence that no beneficiaries were ‘absentees’ as required by section 53 of the Land Tax Act 2010 (QLD). The Court also rejected the Applicant’s argument that section 69(1)(b) of the Taxation Administration Act 2001 (QLD), which requires a taxpayer to pay the whole amount of the disputed tax before appealing the decision, was not constitutionally valid.