The stamp duty exemption on transfers of property is about to change. The Victoria Government pursuant to its 2017 Budget and the introduction of the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2017 (the Bill) intends to withdraw the exemption for payment of stamp duty between spouses and domestic partners in relation to transfers of non-principal place of residence properties.
The exemption for not requiring stamp duty to be paid will apply only to transfers between spouses and domestic partners concerning their principle place of residence.
Exemption from paying stamp duty on transfer of investment properties or holiday houses will no longer apply and stamp duty will be payable in respect of such transfers from 1 July 2017.
This is a significant change to stamp duty concessions previously applied.
The law today
At present no duty is chargeable on a transfer of dutiable property pursuant to section 43 of the Duties Act 2000 (Duties Act), if you are a spouse or domestic partner of another and no other person takes or is entitled to take an interest in the property under the transfer.
The Bill proposes to substitute section 43 of the Duties Act and introduce new sections 43A to 43D.
The new section 43 provides that no duty will be payable in respect of a transfer of dutiable property if you are a spouse or domestic partner of another and:
- no person takes or is entitled to take an interest in the dutiable property being transferred; and
- there is no consideration for the transfer; and
- the property is residential property.
In addition, there has been introduced a requirement for you or your spouse/domestic partner to occupy the land as your “principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 12 months commencing within the 12 month period immediately after the transfer”.
How might this change affect you?
If the Bill is passed and assented to, any transfer of non-principal place of residence properties between yourself and your spouse or domestic partner will no longer be exempt from stamp duty. This means that stamp duty will be payable on such transfers based on the current market value of the transferring property.
These changes to stamp duty exemptions do not apply to transfers of property following a relationship breakdown.
If you are considering or should be considering a spousal or domestic partner transfer, now is the time to seek advice in relation to the same as rules are likely to significantly change come 1 July 2017.
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 The second reading of the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2017 was moved on 9 May 2017.
 Tim Pallas, ‘Getting on with the job’ (Budget Paper No.5, Victoria State Government), 150; Tim Pallas, ‘Getting on with the job’ (Budget Paper No. 3, Victorian State Government) 112.
 Duties Act 2000 (Vic) s 43.
 State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2017 33, 10.
 Ibid 34, 1.
 Ibid 34, 10.
 Duties Act 2000 (Vic) ss 20, 22.
 Above n 1.