The State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 15 December 2020 and introduces changes to a number of Acts. It includes revenue initiatives announced on 24 November 2020 as part of the 2020‑21 Victorian Budget.
Duties Act 2000
- The land transfer duty concession for commercial, industrial and extractive industries property transactions in regional Victoria will be increased to a discount of 50% of the duty otherwise payable, for contracts, arrangements or agreements entered into from 1 January 2021. The concession was introduced at a rate of 10% from 1 July 2019 and was originally scheduled to increase by 10 percentage points each financial year until it reached a 50% concession from 1 July 2023. The Act has been amended to bring the 50% increase forward to 1 January 2021.
Land Tax Act 2005
- From the 2021 land tax year, an exemption will apply to land owned and occupied by not-for-profit clubs that provide for the social, recreational, literary or educational interests of their members. This replaces the concessional rate that currently applies to these clubs. Clubs promoting or controlling horse racing, pony racing or harness racing in Victoria are not eligible for the new exemption, but will continue to receive the existing concessional rate.
Duties Act 2000
The Duties Act 2000 has been amended to:
- Increase the rate of livestock duty on the sale of sheep and goats over three years from 1 January 2021. The new rates are:
Date sheep, goat or carcase sold Rate of duty per sheep, goat or carcase On or after 1 January 2021 and before 1 January 2022 19 cents ($0.19) On or after 1 January 2022 and before 1 January 2023 27 cents ($0.27) On or after 1 January 2023 35 cents ($0.35)
- Align the Victorian definition of a ‘green car’ for motor vehicle duty purposes with the relevant Commonwealth standard of a car with carbon dioxide emissions that do not exceed 120 grams per kilometre.
- Exclude security interests in fixtures from the definition of ‘dutiable property’.
- Ensure the partnership provisions apply correctly to situations where there are multiple layered partnerships.
- Expand the types of equity release providers who can access a duty exemption for their equity release products.
- Confirm the eligibility of vacant land transactions for the first home buyer duty exemption or concession, and extend the residence requirement in respect of vacant land, so that the first home buyer must complete and move into the new home on the land within 12 months from the earlier of the date they are lawfully able to reside at the property (i.e. when the occupancy permit is issued) or 24 months after the land transfer.
- Prevent a purchaser (or purchaser’s spouse) from accessing the benefit of the first home buyer duty exemption or concession a second time.
- Extend the duty exemption under the corporate reconstruction concession provisions for arrangements involving multiple steps, to apply to the reorganisation of a corporate group involving both a corporate consolidation and a corporate reconstruction.
- Confirm the corporate consolidation concession is only available to consolidated groups under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth).
Environment Protection legislation
The Environment Protection Act 1970 and Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 have been amended to increase Victorian landfill levies over two years from 1 July 2021. The levy is administered by the Environment Protection Authority.
First Home Owner Grant Act 2000
The First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 has been amended to:
- Exclude homes that have never been sold but have previously been occupied as new homes for First Home Owner Grant purposes.
- Enable the Commissioner of State Revenue to vary (extend or reduce) an applicant’s residence requirement for the First Home Owner Grant if there are good reasons to do so, even if the applicant fails to notify the Commissioner that the requirement has not been met.
Gambling Regulation Act 2003
The Gambling Regulation Act 2003 has been amended to clarify the operation of the wagering and betting tax, including to:
- Clarify that for the purposes of calculating net wagering revenue, the winnings in respect of a free bet offered by a wagering and betting operator refer to the net payout to the customer.
- Confirm that wagering and betting tax revenue is calculated on the full amount of net wagering revenue earned by the operator including GST.
- Provide rules for the treatment of bets made in a non-Australian currency.
- Clarify how the tax-free threshold applies and the net wagering revenue of a group member is accounted for when the member moves from one group to another.
Land Tax Act 2005
The Land Tax Act 2005 has been amended to:
- Abolish special land tax from the day after Royal Assent.
- Introduce consistent restrictions on deriving income from principal place of residence (PPR) land for land tax purposes and address various administrative issues in the PPR provisions.
- Enable penalty tax and interest on unpaid land tax to be secured as part of a first charge on land and recovered from a mortgagee, lessee or occupier if there is a tax default.
Taxation Administration Act 1997
The Taxation Administration Act 1997 has been amended to:
- Relocate clearance certificate provisions from the Land Tax Act 2005 to the Taxation Administration Act 1997 to facilitate future development of a single property clearance certificate.
- Enable the Commissioner of State Revenue to publish an online statement specifying the documents that are returns for the purposes of the Taxation Administration Act 1997.
Valuation of Land Act 1960
The Valuation of Land Act 1960 has been amended to allow councils requesting a supplementary valuation from the Valuer-General to nominate a date from which the council can apply the new valuation for the purposes of adjusting rates or Fire Services Property Levy payable for the land within the same financial year. The amendment does not affect how the State Revenue Office uses valuations to calculate land tax.