Legislation which will cut stamp duty on conveyances by an average of five per cent across the board has passed its first hurdle, Treasurer Eric Ripper announced today.
Mr Ripper welcomed the passage of the Duties Bill 2007 through the Lower House.
“This Bill is great news for Western Australian taxpayers and particularly homebuyers,” he said.
“I hope it will have a swift passage through the Upper House.”
The Treasurer said the Bill delivered on a range of recommendations made by the State Tax Review, which would streamline complex tax legislation and adopt a broader, more efficient tax base, which in turn provided an opportunity for offsetting rate relief.
He said the Bill would:
· introduce a new landholder regime which imposed duty in a more consistent and understandable manner on land acquired indirectly through interests in company and unit trust structures;
· support businesses that owned WA assets in creating more efficient operational structures, thereby reducing costs; and
· introduce a general anti-avoidance provision to better protect the revenue base.
Mr Ripper said the reforms included the most generous entity restructuring exemption in the nation. This would allow business to improve their efficiencies by restructuring without incurring stamp duty.
The reforms and reduction in conveyance duty rates are scheduled to take effect from July 1 if the legislation is passed quickly by the Upper House.
The Bill has been supported by both tax professionals and business.
The Treasurer said the Bill also meant duty would no longer be payable on carbon rights and carbon covenants or when property was transferred as the result of a marriage or de facto relationship breakdown prior to obtaining certain family court documents.
The new Bill also made the duty laws easier to understand, slashing the size of the legislation by about half.
Letters of general support for the Duties Bill have also been received from a range of industry bodies and taxpayers, including the following:
· Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
· Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia;
· Property Council of Australia;
· Real Estate Institute of Western Australia;
· Western Australian Farmers Federation;
· Urban Development Institute of Australia;
· Taxation Institute of Australia;
· National Institute of Accountants;
· Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia;
· BHP Billiton.
Treasurer's Office 9222 8788