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Our duties compliance program focuses on investigating and monitoring duties transactions, including:

  • land transfer duty,
  • insurance duty, and
  • motor vehicle duty.

Helping you get it right

To help you get it right, we provide a range of information and tools, including:

Our Customer Service Charter

Our compliance activities

Data from the Australian Taxation Office, Residential Tenancies Bond Authority and VicRoads is used to assist us in targeting areas of non-compliance and to ensure effectiveness of case selection.

Our compliance activities include investigating and monitoring:

  • Land transfer (stamp duty):
    • Duties Online users who collect duty on behalf of the State Revenue Office,
    • real property valuation issues,
    • sub-sales,
    • concession and exemption claims,
    • related party transfers,
    • off-the-plan property sales,
    • transfers involving high-value properties,
    • foreign purchaser surcharge,
    • changes in the beneficial ownership of land held in fixed trust and partnership structures,
    • spouse exemptions.
  • Transfers and grants of long-term leases over land in Victoria.
  • The practices of licensed motor car traders (LMCT), including:
    • Their use of vehicles classified as trading stock, demonstrator vehicles or service 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. This is audited to ensure the LMCT is 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.
  • General insurers and insurance business placed with overseas or unregistered insurers.

Common errors to avoid

Land transfer (stamp) duty 

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. Our Evidentiary Requirements Manual provides guidance about which transactions must be lodged with us and the evidentiary requirements for duty assessment.

Common errors to avoid include:

  • Incorrect volume/folio number entered.
  • Incorrect spelling of transferee(s) or transferor(s) information.
  • Incorrect application of exemptions or concessions.
  • Incorrect date of birth entered.
  • Presenting a transfer of land at Land Use Victoria for registration when the transaction has not been 'committed to pay'.
  • Not retaining documentation as required.
  • Supporting documents incorrectly completed.

Duty concession for off-the-plan sales

Common errors to avoid where there is an off-the-plan sale, involving either a land and building package or a refurbishment, include:

  • 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% increments (fixed percentage method).
  • Incorrectly calculating the GST payable.
  • Incorrectly claiming the duty concession on commercial property from 1 July 2017.
  • Transferors not keeping records for five years.

Other concessions and exemptions

Common errors to avoid include:

  • Principal place of residence (PPR) duty concession claimed where the purchaser does not use the property as their principal residence in the required timeframes.
  • Pensioner exemption or concession claimed incorrectly.
  • First-home buyer duty exemption or concession claimed incorrectly.
  • Related party transactions where the property value is understated.
  • Incorrect claims for exemption for transfer between domestic partners.
  • Transfers of property not used as a principal place of residence between spouses or domestic partners.
  • Sub-sales of property where full details have not been revealed.
  • Sub-sales of property where there has been land development and/or additional consideration.
  • Not fully disclosing the consideration paid to the vendor.
  • Incorrect completion of statutory declarations and statements.
  • Relying on old or incorrect valuations or capital improved 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.
  • Failing to lodge a written statement in respect of a transaction effecting a change in the beneficial ownership of land held in a fixed trust or partnership structure.
  • Failing to declare a GST inclusive price.

Motor vehicle duty and licensed motor car traders (LMCTs)

Common errors to avoid include:

  • Claiming an exemption on vehicles that are:
    • not trading stock,
    • not demonstrator vehicles,
    • not driver education vehicles, and
    • from 1 July 2019, not service demonstrator vehicles.
  • Incorrect use of other exemption provisions.
  • Failing to notify the State Revenue Office of the change of use of vehicles.
  • Recording incorrect vehicle values.
  • Excluding operating equipment and body modifications from the value of specialist commercial vehicles.
  • Not forwarding the correct duty to VicRoads by the due date.

Submit a voluntary disclosure or tip-off

Last modified: 13 October 2020
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