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Duties Online

Duties Online (DOL) allows registered users to electronically submit details of the most common types of property transfers and declarations of trust for assessment, all from the convenience of their office.

The Evidentiary Requirements Manual provides guidance as to which transactions must be lodged at the SRO as well as the evidentiary requirements for assessment of the duty liability under the DOL system.

Commonly identified errors by registered users are:

  • Incorrect volume/folio number entered into DOL,
  • Incorrect spelling of transferee(s)/transferor(s) information,
  • Incorrect application of exemptions or concessions,
  • Incorrect consideration (value) entered into DOL,
  • Incorrect date of birth entered into DOL,
  • Presenting a transfer of land at Land Victoria for registration when the transaction has not been "committed to pay", and
  • Not retaining documentation as required

Duty concession for off-the-plan sales

The Duties Act 2000 (the Act) imposes duty on transfers of dutiable property unless an exemption or concession from duty applies.

Concessions are available where there is a transfer of land as a result of an off-the-plan sale involving either a land and building package or a  refurbishment. For contracts entered into on or after  1 July 2017, the concession is only available to owner/occupiers who are eligible for the principal place of residence or first home buyer duty concession. This means the concession in no longer available for residential investment property or commercial property purchases where the contract is entered into on or after 1 July 2017.

The land and building concession applies where a person enters into a contract for the purchase of a land and building package and construction has not commenced, or only a percentage of construction has been completed, at the date of the contract.

The refurbishment concession applies where a contract is entered into for the refurbishment of an existing building where the refurbishment has not commenced or is not complete at the date of the contract and, amongst other things, the transferor is the first registered proprietor of the subdivided lot.

For a purchaser to obtain an off-the-plan concession, a transferor must complete a land and building package statutory declaration using either the fixed percentage method or the alternative method (as explained in Revenue DA-048). It is important that statutory declarations are completed correctly. As part of our compliance program we review statutory declarations and follow up anomalies with the relevant parties.

Commonly identified errors are:

  • Incorrectly calculated base land value (alternative method),
  • Incorrectly calculated non-deductible costs (alternative method),
  • Incorrectly calculated percentage of construction works completed,
  • Incorrectly recorded contract dates,
  • Incorrect rounding down of 10 per cent increments (fixed percentage method),
  • Transferors not keeping records for five years

Motor vehicle duty and LMCTs

Our investigations focus on the practices of licensed motor car traders (LMCTs), including (but not limited to) their use of vehicles classified as trading stock or demonstrator vehicles and the calculation, collection and payment of duty to VicRoads.

The use of the LMCT duty exemption for the registration/transfer of motor vehicles is also audited to ensure the LMCT was entitled to the exemption in the first instance and whether, due to a change in the use of a vehicle, the exemption no longer applies.

Commonly identified errors are:

  • LMCTs incorrectly claiming an exemption on vehicles that are not trading stock, demonstrators or driver education vehicles,
  • Incorrect use of other exemption provisions,
  • Failure to notify the SRO of the change of use of vehicles,
  • Incorrect vehicle values being recorded,
  • Exclusion of operating equipment and body modifications from the value of specialist commercial vehicles,
  • Failure to forward the correct duty to VicRoads by the due date

Conveyancing duty

Certain duty exemptions and concessions concessions on land transfers are available to eligible customers under the Act.

Duty is calculated on the dutiable value of dutiable property. The Act outlines what is dutiable property and how to determine the dutiable value of that property. We examine the full range of concessions, exemptions, transfers and acquisitions of property.

Commonly identified errors are:

  • Principal place of residence (PPR) duty concession claimed where the purchaser does not use the property as his/her principal residence in the required timeframes,
  • Concession card/first-home buyer concession claimed incorrectly,
  • Related party transactions where the property value is understated,
  • Incorrect claims for exemption for transfer between domestic partners,
  • Sub-sales of property where full details are not revealed,
  • Consideration paid to vendor is not fully disclosed,
  • Incorrect completion of statutory declarations and statements,
  • Relying on old or incorrect valuations,
  • Failing to aggregate transfers of dutiable property which together form, give effect to, or arise from what is substantially the one arrangement relating to the items of dutiable property, 
  • Failure by a foreign purchaser to identify themselves as such, and
  • Failure to lodge a section 14 statement in respect of a transaction effecting a change in the beneficial ownership of land held in a fixed trust or partnership structure