The State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2019 contains provisions which clarify when a trustee of a discretionary trust is liable for surcharge land tax (or surcharge purchaser duty, as the case may be).
Trustees that may have inadvertently incurred surcharge land tax may receive an exemption (or refund) if their trust deeds are amended in accordance with the legislation. New deeds will need to meet the requirements of the legislation in order to avoid any surcharge liabilities. The Bill currently requires affected deeds to be amended by 31 December 2019.
As the Bill has yet to be passed by the Parliament, the Government intends to extend this deadline to a later date, in 2020. However, trustees are encouraged to amend their deeds by midnight 31 December 2019, if possible, to avoid incurring a land tax surcharge liability and having to apply for an exemption or refund.