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Declarations of trust

A declaration of trust over land attracts duty at the same rate as a land transfer. Declarations of trust that do not declare a trust over land attract duty of $200.

Please refer to our summary of current duty rates for further guidance.

Conveyancing industry

Regular lodgers involved in the property conveyancing industry should apply to become a Duties Online registered user.

Individuals

Members of the public who are not using a DOL registered user (usually a solicitor or conveyancer) and wish to lodge electronically as an individual can do so after a simple registration process. You can electronically lodge scanned documents for a land transfer of declaration of trust via our website after you register with us

Mirror or cloned trusts

The term “mirror trust” is not defined in the Duties Act 2000 (the Act).

It is commonly understood that a “mirror trust” refers to a new trust where the beneficiaries are the same as another trust (the original trust) and the terms of the both trusts have exactly the same meaning and effect.

Mirror trusts are also sometimes referred to as “cloned trusts”. The terms are commonly used interchangeably.

A question may arise as to whether a transfer of dutiable property from an original trust to a new mirror trust is a dutiable transaction and is, therefore, subject to duty. Dutiable transaction is defined in s7 of the Act to include, among other things, a transfer of dutiable property.

Irrespective of how the new trust is described or constituted, a transfer of dutiable property from an original trust to the new trust is a dutiable transaction unless a specific exemption applies to the particular facts of a matter.

For example, a specific exemption under s33 of the Act (change in trustees exemption) may apply if the transfer of dutiable property is solely because of the retirement of a trustee or appointment of a new trustee, or other change in trustee.

However, the change in trustees exemption cannot apply to exempt a transfer to a new trustee where there is no pre-existing trust. This is because this exemption is specifically intended for a transfer of dutiable property made solely as a result of a change in the holder of the pre-existing office of trustee, and nothing more.

As a mirror trust is a “new” trust, the change in trustees exemption cannot apply to a transfer of dutiable property to a trustee of a mirror trust.