This compliance program focuses on individual transactions and Electronic Duties Returns (EDR) clients who assess documents on behalf of customers.
- conducting audits on EDR clients to ensure the conditions of approval are being adhered to, assessments are accurate, records are kept, and that their systems and procedures adhere to the Directions for Using Electronic Duties Returns (PDF, 788.4 KB) and to identify transactions where duty has not been paid or has been underpaid
- reviewing high-value property transfers
- identifying and investigating transfers of motor vehicle registrations where the correct value has not been used to calculate the duty payable
- reviewing and investigating property transfers with a dutiable value over $3m, which may be liable to premium property duty where the correct amount of duty may not have been paid
- reviewing and investigating recipients of the New Home Grant, where information available indicates that the grant has been paid to ineligible applicants
- using a range of data-matching initiatives, based on internal and external data, to ensure compliance by identifying transactions that have not been lodged for assessment
- reviewing and investigating landholder lodgements
- investigating referrals for landholder transactions, where the correct duty may not have been paid
- reviewing and investigating exemptions and concessions, including corporate reconstructions
- reviewing and investigating transactions involving Surcharge Purchaser Duty.
Common errors for duties include:
- not reviewing the purchaser/transferee declaration (PDF, 184.9 KB) to determine whether customers are ordinarily resident or foreign
- not aggregating transactions
- not complying with legislative and evidentiary requirements
- not following EDR (electronic duties returns) procedures (including record keeping)
- using valuations that may not reflect accurate dutiable values when processing a transaction
- failing to declare the correct dutiable value when transferring the registration of a motor vehicle
- processing vacant land and non-residential transactions as off-the-plan
- not including GST in assessing liability for duty
- applying exemptions or concessions incorrectly when making assessments.
Case study: surcharge purchaser duty – temporary resident
The contract to purchase a a home was signed on 14 October 2016. The buyer was granted a student guardian visa on 1 January 2016 and remains on this visa today. The visa expires on 1 January 2020. The buyer has lived in Australia since 1 July 2015 and has not left the country since.
The buyer is liable for surcharge purchaser duty because they hold a temporary visa and their continued presence in Australia is subject to a limitation imposed by law.
We were not satisfied that the buyer was ordinarily a resident in Australia at the contract date, so we issued a notice of assessment for surcharge purchaser duty, plus interest and penalties.