The Victorian Government has introduced the Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2019 (Bill) to Parliament, which proposes to amend the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic) (Act). The Bill, if passed, will affect vendors under existing and future off-the-plan contracts.
The Victorian Supreme Court in the decision of MD Commercial Pty Ltd & AJ Commercial Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue  VSC 560 confirmed that certain transfers of land to trustees were not exempt from duty under section 35 of the Duties Act 2000.
The Victorian Court of Appeal in its recent decision of Living and Leisure Australia Pty Ltd vs Commissioner of State Revenue (Living and Leisure) dismissed the appeal by the taxpayers and upheld the Victorian Supreme Court’s conclusion that the contended leases in respect of Crown lands within the alpine resorts granted exclusive possession and were leases.
A recent ATO post on its social media channels may signal the Commissioner of Taxation’s focus on the GST obligations of taxpayers involved in the development of property for sale at a profit and whether they are required to register for GST.
On 9 July 2018, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recently released the Draft Property and Construction Website Guidance (the Guidelines) providing guidance in relation to the ATO position on property development and whether relevant property is held by the taxpayer on capital or revenue account.
As has been standard fare for the property industry over the last few years, a new financial year will bring in a number of changes to the development and sales process. It is important that developers are aware of these changes, and begin taking steps to comply with the new requirements in order to avoid any delays or other adverse implications once the amendments take effect.
The Victorian Court of Appeal recently successfully allowed an appeal from the Supreme Court concerning the GST treatment of a property sale. The decision, in fact both decisions, illustrate the importance of ensuring that the contract of sale correctly sets out whether the price includes or excludes GST and the required due diligence including legal advice needed before signing such contracts.
Partnering with our client Resi Ventures, Sladen Legal has rolled out e-Contracts for use in sales at the Accolade and Monument estates. The use of e-Contracts aligns with Resi Ventures’ goals of implementing fresh ideas and best practices in creating communities and the way it deals with its customers.
As part of the Victorian State Budget, a number of stamp duty changes have been proposed, many of which have received significant media attention (including the abolition of the off the plan duty concession for investors, the abolition of stamp duty for some first home buyers, and the removal of the blanket duty exemption for transfers between spouses).
It was announced as part of the 2017 Federal Budget that from 1 July 2018, purchasers of “newly constructed residential premises” or “new land subdivisions” will be required to remit GST directly to the Australian Taxation Office as part of settlement. Details have not yet been provided on how this measure will be implemented or operate.
In its recent decision in The Executors of the Estate of the late Peter Fowler and Commissioner of Taxation, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) held that Mr Fowler was not entitled to apply the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions in Division 152 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, on the sale of a block of 10 residential units (Manly Property) as he was not carrying on a business and the Manly Property did not qualify as an “active asset”.