The stamp duty rules vary from state to state in Australia. In Victoria for example the transfer of a business and its related assets is not subject to stamp duty whereas it is dutiable in some of the other states.
In Victoria the transfer of real property between spouses is not dutiable, even where the transfer is not for natural love and affection.
Property in Victoria can also be transferred from a discretionary trust to an eligible beneficiary of the trust free of stamp duty if distributed in specie.
In Victoria commercial real property can be transferred by a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (“SMSF”) into the SMSF free of stamp duty by way of either a concessional or non-concession contribution into the SMSF.
Transfers of interests in entities holding real property assets need to be approached with caution; “land rich” provisions, which may vary from state to state, have the effect of invoking duty as though the property itself was being transferred.
A thorough understanding of the above stamp duty rules can provide great planning opportunities and assist in determining the most appropriate structure to hold a particular asset and how to most effectively transfer an asset where necessary.
Contact us to find out more on stamp duty.