We offer expert legal advice in relation to landholder duty matters. We can provide advice prior to an acquisition or if you are in dispute about an assessment you have received.
We can quickly advise you of your legal options and provide litigation support. Our landholder tax lawyers work with the Victorian State Revenue Office regularly helping clients with their duty and tax matters.
This page relates to Victoria State taxes, however we do provide advice relating to the other States taxes and duties.
Landholder duty is a tax that applies when certain acquisitions are made involving companies or unit trusts that own substantial land assets in Victoria. This duty is triggered when an acquisition, known as a “relevant acquisition,” occurs.
A relevant acquisition typically involves acquiring a significant interest in a company or a unit trust. In the case of a company, this means acquiring 50% or more of the ownership stake. For unit trusts, a relevant acquisition occurs when you acquire 20% or more of the ownership stake.
To put it simply, if you’re involved in a business deal where you gain substantial control or ownership in a company or unit trust that owns land worth $1 million or more in Victoria, you may be subject to landholder duty.
This tax is designed to ensure that transactions involving valuable land assets are appropriately taxed, and it’s important to be aware of these rules to comply with Victoria’s tax regulations. If you have any questions or need assistance with landholder duty matters, our expert tax team is here to help you navigate the complexities of these transactions.
Whether an acquisition is considered significant isn’t just based on one particular purchase. It also takes into account other acquisitions made by you, people you’re associated with, or others involved in related transactions.
So, even if you’ve already made a significant acquisition in a landholding company or unit trust, any additional interests acquired by you or associated individuals can trigger the landholder duty again.
These rules are quite broad and can be interpreted widely by tax authorities. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek advice to determine if your acquisition or acquisitions could trigger the landholder duty provisions. Our tax experts can help you navigate this complex area and ensure you’re in compliance with the rules.
In the Victorian landholder duty rules, there are some exemptions available.
First, there’s no landholder duty if you wouldn’t have had to pay any duty at all if the transfer of the interest in the landholder had been treated as a regular transfer of the land itself. In simple terms, this exemption aligns with the exemptions you’d get under the land transfer duty rules found in Chapter 2 of the Duties Act 2000 (Vic).
Secondly, there’s also no landholder duty if, when looking at all the facts and circumstances, applying the landholder duty rules would result in an unusual or unreasonable duty amount. In this case, if the duty you’d have to pay under the landholder duty rules is higher than what you’d pay if the acquisition were treated as a regular land transfer, then you won’t have to pay landholder duty.
If a relevant acquisition has taken place, either the person who made the relevant acquisition or the landholder in which the relevant acquisition was made must lodge a landholder acquisition statement with the SRO within 30 days from when the relevant acquisition occurred.
Failure to submit a landholder acquisition and make payment of the landholder duty payable to the SRO within the 30-day timeframe may result in penalties and interest being applied by the SRO.
Our lawyers provide clear advice in relation to land transfer duties. If you need advice prior to an acquisition, we can work with you to pre-empt your potential tax liability. Our tax lawyers have extensive experience and a deep understanding of how the SRO makes their assessments and can work with you to resolve any issues you have.
If you are in dispute, we assist clients by clearly articulating their case and ensuring that your position is asserted and robustly defended.
Speak to one of our land transfer duty lawyers on 1300 907 335 today on how we can assist.
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