Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for State Development

    Treasurer unveils new duties regime

    28/11/2007 7:16 PM

    Treasurer Eric Ripper today introduced the new Duties Bill 2007 into the Parliament.

    The Bill seeks to replace the Stamp Act 1921 and has involved an unprecedented level of consultation with taxation professionals and industry participants.

    “The rewrite of the Stamp Act is the final deliverable in a seven year taxation reform process,” Mr Ripper said.

    “Today is an important day in the State’s taxation history. Not only have we rewritten an Act that is nearly 90 years old, we have introduced significant reform measures that will benefit the community and are supported by industry.”

    The Treasurer noted that the new Bill delivered on a range of State Tax Review outcomes, including measures to:
    • introduce a new landholder regime that imposes duty in a more consistent and understandable manner on land that is acquired indirectly, via interests in company and unit trust structures;
    • support businesses that own Western Australian assets in creating more efficient operational structures, thereby reducing costs; and
    • introduce a general anti-avoidance provision to better protect the revenue base.
    The Treasurer said that as a result of the reforms, conveyance duty rates would fall by about five per cent, which would benefit all Western Australians, including those who were buying homes. The reforms also include the most generous entity reconstruction exemption in the nation.

    Mr Ripper also highlighted further changes to deal with two growing issues in the community.

    “Firstly, the Bill ensures that duty will not be payable in relation to carbon rights and carbon covenants,” he said.

    “The Bill also deals with the increasingly common situation of couples who transfer property as part of the splitting of assets on the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship.

    “They pay their stamp duty, only to discover that if they had obtained certain Family Law or Family Court instruments, they would have only paid nominal duty of $20.”

    Once the Bill is enacted, anyone who transfers property from the date the Bill is introduced into the Parliament and pays duty will be able to have that duty reassessed if they obtain the necessary Family Law or Family Court instrument within 12 months of transferring the property.

    The new Bill also makes the duty laws easier to understand through a more contemporary drafting style and coherent structure.

    Furthermore, the legislation has been significantly reduced in length from its current 400 pages to about 200 pages.

    “I have been very encouraged by the level of support for this Bill from taxation professionals and industry participants and hope that it can be passed by the Parliament in time for a commencement on July 1, 2008,” Mr Ripper said.

    Letters of general support for progressing the Duties Bill have also been received from a range of industry bodies and taxpayers, including:
    • the Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
    • the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia;
    • the Property Council of Australia;
    • the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia;
    • the Western Australian Farmers Federation;
    • the Urban Development Institute of Australia;
    • the Taxation Institute of Australia;
    • the National Institute of Accountants;
    • the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia;
    • BHP Billiton.
    Treasurer's office: 9222 8788