The State Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2008, which received Royal Assent on 2 July 2008, made a number of changes to the:
For the Duties Act these changes effect:
At present the Duties Act 1997 provides for a duty concession on a transfer of land that is jointly owned where the land is transferred to one or more of the joint owners (referred to as a partition).
The amendment provides that the concession does not apply in cases where the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue is satisfied that the partition is part of a scheme to avoid duty on an exchange of land between parties who are not joint owners.
At present, the Duties Act 1997 provides for a duty concession on a transfer of dutiable property by the legal personal representative of a deceased person if the transfer is made under and in conformity with the trusts contained in the will of the deceased person or arising on intestacy. Duty on such a transfer is charged at a flat rate of $10, rather than ad valorem. The amendment extends this concession to the following cases:
Under section 134 of the Conveyancing Act 1919 a term in land of not less than 300 years may be enlarged (or converted) in certain circumstances to an estate in fee simple in the land. Under the Duties Act 1997, such an enlargement of a term in land is chargeable with duty in the same way as a transfer of the land.
The amendment provides that such an enlargement is chargeable with duty of $10 if ad valorem duty was paid on the transaction by which the term in land was acquired and the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue is satisfied that the term in land was not granted, and subsequently enlarged, for the purpose of avoiding duty.
Under the Pharmacy Practice Act 2006 it is permissible for a pharmacy business to be carried on by a pharmacist's body corporate. Previously, a corporation was prohibited from having a pecuniary interest in the business of a pharmacist (under section 25 of the Pharmacy Act 1964).
The amendment provides for a duty exemption for any pharmacist, or partnership of pharmacists, that becomes a body corporate. A transfer of dutiable property of the pharmacist or partnership to the incorporated body will be exempt from duty. This is similar to the exemption that applies to lawyers who incorporate.
The First Home Plus scheme under the Duties Act 1997 allows first home owners to obtain a duty exemption or concession when they build or purchase their first home. At present, the scheme requires that an application for a concession under the Act relate to the whole property.
The amendment will allow an application to be made under the scheme where the property concerned is a land on which 2 or more homes are built or are to be built, if the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue is satisfied that the first home owner will be entitled to occupy the home that the first home owner is acquiring to the exclusion of the persons who occupy other homes on the land.
An acquisition of an interest in a land rich landholder (a company or unit trust with significant land holdings) is chargeable with duty under the Duties Act 1997 in a similar manner to a purchase of land.
The amendment extends the situations in which an acquisition will be dutiable under the land rich duty provisions. The amendment provides that a change in the capacity in which the person holds an interest in a land rich landholder is to be regarded as an acquisition of an interest in a land rich landholder. An example is if a person who holds a unit or share in a land rich landholder declares a trust in respect of the unit or share. This amendment is intended as an anti-avoidance measure.
A related amendment ensures that an exemption provision does not operate to permit the practice of using declarations of trust to avoid land rich duty.
These amendments are taken to have commenced on 2 April 2008.
The amendment introduces a duty concession in respect of the duty chargeable on an application to register a motor vehicle. The amendment allows the value of any modifications to the vehicle that have been made to a vehicle to enable a person with a disability to drive the vehicle or to enable someone else to use the vehicle to transport a person with a disability to be disregarded in determining the dutiable value of the motor vehicle.
The amendment extends the duty exemption that applies to charities to persons acting in their capacity as a trustee for a charity.
The amendment also makes it clear that the charity exemption extends to any body established for charitable purposes (including a body corporate).
The amendment clarifies the interaction between the assessment provisions under the Duties Act 1997 and the Taxation Administration Act 1996. The amendment provides that the stamping of a document is taken to constitute an assessment under the Taxation Administration Act 1996 and that the stamped instrument is a notice of assessment (unless a separate notice is issued). This means that the period for making an objection to the assessment will start to run from the date the stamped instrument is given to the taxpayer.
The amendment extends the meaning of 'quoted', to shares, units in a unit trust scheme or interests in shares or units that comprise a stapled security that is quoted on a stock exchange. Accordingly, those securities will be considered to be a quoted marketable security (and not subject to duty under Chapter 2) if transferred. The amendment also clarifies that a reference to a quoted security can include a reference to a security that is not a marketable security (accordingly it is not necessary for the security to have a nexus with New South Wales, in the manner required of marketable securities).
Other amendments make the use of the expression “quoted” more consistent in the Act.
The amendments remove provisions in the Act that are now obsolete. These provisions relate to:
The amending Act:
For the First Home Owner Grant Act these changes effect:
The amendment allows the first home owner grant to be claimed, in certain circumstances, in the following situations:
The Amendment removes the requirement for the owner of the land to be a party to the first home owner grant application in circumstances referred to above.
The new provisions replace current provisions of the Act that give the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue a discretion to approve a grant (in cases where land is not owned by the applicant) in particular cases.
The amendment will allow a person to qualify for the grant even if a small interest in the land is held by another person or persons (up to a 5% ownership share) and the other person or persons have previously owned land (for example, where a parent of the applicant takes a small share in the land in order to assist with financing).
The amendment extends, from 2 to 3 years, the period during which proceedings for an offence under the Act must be taken.
For the Health Insurance Levies Act these changes effect:
The amending legislation makes an amendment to the description of family membership plans in the Health Insurance Levies Act 1982. The amendment removes the need to make regulations that define what is meant by 'dependent' by utilising a definition under Commonwealth health insurance legislation.
For the Payroll Tax Act these changes effect:
The amendment clarifies an exemption from payroll tax that currently applies to wages paid by any non-profit organisation that has a wholly charitable, benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose so that it applies to wages paid by a non-profit organisation that has as its sole or dominant purpose a charitable, benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose.
The amendment removes a provision that requires trustee companies to be grouped together as related bodies corporate for payroll tax purposes.
The amendment also modifies the grouping provisions in the Payroll Tax Act 2007 so that when 2 or more members of a group, when considered together, have a controlling interest in a business, all the members of the group and the person or persons who carry on the business will together constitute a group.
Changes to the legislation will correct the various formulae used for calculating annual payroll tax liability to recognise that leap years will contain an extra day to other years.
For the Taxation Administration Act these changes effect:
The amendment allows tax officers to disclose information obtained under taxation laws in connection with the administration of execution of the Fines Act 1996.
The amendment also allows tax officers to disclose information obtained under taxation laws to the Commissioner of NSW Fire Brigades and the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service.
The amendment extends, from 2 to 3 years, the period during which proceedings may be taken for an offence under a taxation law. Transitional arrangements in amending legislation make it clear that the extension does not apply to offences alleged to have been committed before the change.
The amendment transfers, from the regulations under the Taxation Administration Act 1996 to the Act, the list of revenue laws of other States and Territories that are recognised for the purpose of reciprocal enforcement arrangements under the Act. The list is also updated. Under the proposed amendments, it will be possible to directly amend the list of recognised revenue laws by proclamation of the Governor published in the Gazette.
The amending legislation also:
For the Unclaimed Money Act these changes effect:
The amending legislation makes amendments that are consequential on the extension of the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999 of the Commonwealth to all superannuation benefits other than those provided by public sector superannuation schemes. The amendments remove provisions that require unclaimed superannuation benefits to be paid to the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue. Existing arrangements will continue for NSW public sector superannuation schemes.
The amendment to these provisions provides that the new arrangements are taken to have effect from 1 July 2007.
The amending legislation also makes statute law revision amendments that clarify that certain arrangements under the Taxation Administration Act 1996 do not apply in respect of the Unclaimed Money Act 1995.