New Landholder provisions
From 6 December 2016, a new landholder model has replaced the former land rich provisions in Chapter 3 of the Duties Act 2001. The 'Land rich' provisions had charged duty on indirect acquisitions of land via the ownership of a majority interest in private companies and private unit trust schemes but that duty is now charged under the now expanded landholder model.
The key features of the landholder model include the extension of the provisions to public companies and public unit trust schemes, and the abolition of the land threshold test (which required a comparison of the value of the entity's land holdings to its other assets in order to determine if the entity was land rich). All companies and unit trust schemes now constitute landholders where the unencumbered value of their land holdings (including the land holdings of any "linked entities") is $500 000 or more. The acquisition of a significant interest in such an entity results in a duty liability being incurred.
For a detailed summary of the new landholder provisions, please refer to the Introduction to Landholder Provisions Guideline. The Commissioner of State Revenue has also released the following revenue rulings to clarify the operation of some of the notable features of the landholder provisions:
Revenue Ruling PUB-DT-2016-2 'Landholder Provisions - Bare Trustees'.
Revenue Ruling PUB-DT-2016-3 'Landholder Provisions - Constructive Ownership of Land Holdings Through Linked Entities'.
Revenue Ruling PUB-DT-2016-4 'Landholder Provisions - Tracing Interests Through Discretionary Trusts'.
Revenue Ruling PUB-DT-2016-5 'Landholder Provisions - Treatment of Fixtures'.
The following forms have also been published and are required to be completed if you have made a "relevant acquisition" in a landholder or seek a Chapter 2 exemption or concession from landholder duty:
Section 68 Private Landholder Acquisition Statement
Section 68 Public Landholder Acquisition Statement
Section 83, 84, 84A Exempt/Concessional Acquisition Statement
Corporate Reconstruction and Consolidation Exemptions
The landholder arrangements are accompanied by duty exemptions for property transfers and relevant acquisitions in landholders that occur as a consequence of a genuine:
i) corporate consolidation; or
ii) corporate reconstruction.
For a detailed summary of these exemptions, please refer to the Corporate Reconstruction and Consolidation Transaction Exemption Provisions Guideline.
If seeking an exemption from duty for a corporate reconstruction transaction or a corporate consolidation transaction, you should use the following forms:
Section 226F - Application for Corporate Reconstruction Exemption
Section 226F - Application for Corporate Consolidation Exemption