Last year we reported on the introduction of a bill into the New South Wales Parliament which would amend the Duties Act 1997 (NSW) (Act) to impose transfer duty on nominations and novations involving call options over New South Wales land.

That bill was recently passed by the New South Wales Parliament and is now law.  However, during its passage through Parliament, all substantive stamp duty changes were removed.

Last week a new bill was introduced into the New South Wales Parliament which reintroduces most of the significant stamp duty changes that had been proposed by the previous bill.

STAMP DUTY ON CALL OPTION NOMINATIONS AND NOVATIONS

The State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) will amend the Act to deem a transfer of an option to purchase land to occur if, for valuable consideration:

  • another person is nominated to exercise the option; or
  • another person is nominated as purchaser or transferee of the land the subject of the option on or before the exercise of the option; or
  • the option holder agrees to a novation of the option, or otherwise relinquishes rights under the option, so that another person obtains a right to exercise the option or to purchase the land.

In addition, the Act will be amended so that the consideration for the transfer of land pursuant to the exercise of an option will be taken to include the consideration provided by the transferee for the option (whether for its grant, transfer, exercise or otherwise).  However, the duty chargeable on the transfer of land will be reduced by the amount of any duty paid by the transferee on the transfer of the option to the transferee.

Application of the amendments

These amendments will commence on the date of Royal Assent. The amendments will not apply to options granted or otherwise created before the commencement date.

STAMP DUTY ON NOVATIONS OF AGREEMENTS FOR LEASE

The Bill also includes a proposed new amendment relating to agreements for lease.  Specifically, the novation of an agreement for the lease of land in New South Wales will be deemed to be a transfer of dutiable property.

Application of the amendment

This amendment will commence on the date of Royal Assent, and will only apply to a novation of an agreement for lease that occurs on or after the commencement date.

OTHER STAMP DUTY CHANGES

The Bill also contains amendments relating to fixed duty payable on certain transactions involving self managed superannuation funds, exemptions from registration duty, and clarifying that a change in partnership arrangements is a dutiable transaction.