Stamp Duty Issues

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Stamp duty on land purchases and transfers

Duty under the Duties Act 2008 (WA) (formerly stamp duty) applies generally to the purchases and transfers of commercial, farming, rural, residential and mixed use property.

There are some concessions which apply to residential property, including for first home owners.

Where there are transactions between related parties, or the parties are not dealing at arm's length, the property must be independently valued before any duty assessment can be issued.

Transfer duty on the purchase or transfer of business assets

The purchase or transfer of a business asset attracts duty, unless it is exempt. A business asset includes:

  1. goodwill of a business;

  2. a restraint of trade arrangement;

  3. a business identity;

  4. a business licence;

  5. a right of a business under an uncompleted contract to supply commodities or provide services;

  6. intellectual property of a business; and

  7. things that a business has that are in the nature of rent rolls and client lists, but does not include a trade debt.

Other transactions which attract duty in WA

The following other transactions attract duty under the Duties Act 2008 (WA):

  1. an agreement for the transfer of dutiable property;

  2. a declaration of trust over dutiable property;

  3. a vesting of dutiable property by statute law or court order;

  4. a foreclosure of a mortgage over dutiable property;

  5. an acquisition of new dutiable property on its creation, grant or issue;

  6. a surrender of special dutiable property;

  7. a trust acquisition or surrender;

  8. a partnership acquisition; and

  9. a farm-in agreement.

If a transaction is not properly structured, there may be double duty payable under the Duties Act 2008 (WA). If you are uncertain about the tax consequences of a transaction, please give us a call.

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