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  1. Key terms explained
  2. Complex transactions
  3. Interacting between Duties Online and your ELNO
  4. Lodgement categories
  5. Settlement
  6. Urgent settlement escalation criteria
  7. Certifying and paying
  8. Transactions that cannot be lodged via an ELNO

1. Key terms explained

What is the electronic lodgement mandate?

Victoria's land registry, Land Use Victoria, has mandated that all transactions (with some exceptions) must be lodged and managed online from 1 August 2019, including complex transactions. To meet this requirement, we are enhancing Duties Online. This applies to conveyancers and lawyers acting for a party or for themselves, as well as Electronic Lodgement Network Operator (ELNO) subscribers.

All instruments or combinations of instruments available within an ELNO must be lodged electronically by 1 August 2019.

This means:

What is Duties Online?

Duties Online is a State Revenue Office system enabling registered users to: 

  • Calculate the duty payable for a land transfer or declaration of trust.
  • Complete a Digital Duties Form.
  • Apply for a refund of duty for an overpayment.

What is an Electronic Lodgement Network Operator (ELNO)?

ELNOs provide a platform to complete electronic conveyancing including preparing registry instruments, settlement of funds, including duty payable, and lodging instruments with Land Use Victoria.

2. Complex transactions

What is the difference between a DOL transaction and a complex transaction?

DOL transactions account for 90 per cent of all transactions and can be completed end–to-end instantly by the Duties Online user.

Complex DOL transactions must be submitted to the SRO at least 30 days before settlement. A calculation of duty is then returned back into Duties Online for the user to certify before settlement.

How do I know what documents I have to supply for a complex lodgement?

Our Evidentiary Requirements Manual and help text within Duties Online will assist you to determine what supporting documents are required.

What is the turn-around time for calculating duty on complex DOL transactions?

We will return an assessment of duty within 30 days of settlement provided all supporting documents are submitted and correct. Once assessed:

  1. The lodging party will receive an email notification in addition to a message on the Duties Online home screen.
  2. The lodging party must certify the lodgement. 

Can a complex assessment take place before the plan of subdivision is registered?

A complex assessment can take place if you have a volume and folio, both of which are required to complete a duty calculation and register a transfer. For complex lodgements, the SRO requires at least 30 days to determine the duty payable. 

How will the SRO handle transactions that are submitted for complex assessment, but are determined to be a standard DOL transaction by the assessor?

The SRO will complete the transaction in the first instance and advise the user by email that future DOL transactions of this nature will not be processed by an assessor.

3. Interacting between Duties Online and your ELNO

How does Duties Online interact with ELNOs?

Duties Online calculates the duty payable for a land transfer transaction. The duty payable (or exemption) is automatically populated into the ELNO workspace before settlement. The ELNO then transfers the duty payable to the State Revenue Office (SRO) at the time of settlement. 

How do I calculate the duty payable within Duties Online?

Hover over the ‘Create’ tab and select ‘Retrieve & Claim ELNO Lodgement’. Enter the ELNO Lodgement Case ID and SRO Reference and then link the Digital Duties Form ID. You can only link the form after all parties have signed it.

Once the digital form is linked into your claimed lodgement, select the ‘Calculate Duty’ button to estimate the duty and obtain the duty verification. Duties online will determine whether the lodgement is a DOL duty determination transaction or an SRO duty determination (complex) lodgement.

For a DOL duty determination, you can then proceed to ‘Acknowledge’ and ‘Certify’ the transaction to obtain your duty verification.

For complex DOL transactions, based on the information entered in your linked Digital Duties Form, the system will determine the lodgement category. You will be required to submit supporting documents and then select a settlement date in your ELNO workspace. The settlement date must be at least 30 calendar days into the future. When you receive a duty calculation from the SRO you can certify the lodgement and settle. 

How will I know if my lodgement is a DOL duty determination or an SRO duty determination (complex)?

Duties Online, based on the data provided in the Digital Duties Form, will determine whether duty can be automatically assessed or require manual calculation by the SRO.

For guidance, refer to the Lodgement Category Checklist and the Evidentiary Requirements Manual as guides. 

Who is responsible for the duty verification?

Duty verification is completed by the transferee’s representative once all mandatory details are entered in the ELNO’s workspace.

Do all transactions within the lodgement need an individual Digital Duties Form?

Yes, all transactions within a lodgement must be linked to an individual Digital Duties Form.

Who can claim the settlement statement?

Only the party wanting to assess the duty payable should claim the settlement statement.

Do I have to be registered with an ELNO to retrieve and claim in Duties Online?

No, you don’t have to register with an ELNO to retrieve and claim in Duties Online.

To retrieve and claim an ELNO lodgement, you must elect to process land transfers and ELNO transactions within the administration tab of Duties Online.

What information do I need to retrieve and claim an ELNO lodgement?

You need:

  • An ELNO Lodgement ID
  • An SRO Transaction ID
  • A Digital Duties Forms ID

How do I start an ELNO lodgement?

To start an ELNO lodgement:

  1. Hover over 'Create'.
  2. Select 'Retrieve and Claim ELNO Lodgement'.
  3. Enter your ELNO Lodgement ID, SRO Transaction ID/Case ID and Digital Duties Form ID before starting the duty calculation.

Where the purchaser or vendor has only one name, will the transaction be available as an ELNO lodgement?

Yes, transactions that involve purchasers or vendors with only one name can be processed as a Duties Online transaction via your ELNO.

Where the purchaser or vendor has two middle names, will the transaction be available as an ELNO lodgement?

Yes, transactions where purchasers or vendors have two middle names can be completed as a Duties Online transaction via your ELNO.

What if the information entered in the Digital Duties Form doesn't match the ELNO data?

If the information in the Digital Duties Form and ELNO workspace doesn’t match, you will not be able to claim the ELNO lodgement. Duties Online will notify you of discrepancies between the Digital Duties Form and the ELNO workspace.

Can I review the data entered into the Digital Duties Form once it is linked in Duties Online?

Yes, you can. Select the ‘settlement statement’ link in the transaction details area to view the settlement statement, which will contain the data you entered into the Digital Duties Form.

Can I view the transaction details in Duties Online?

Yes. Once you have linked the Digital Duties Form you can view the transaction details by selecting the drop down button 'view details’. 

How do I edit a transaction in Duties Online?

Duties Online is pre-populated using the information you entered in the Digital Duties Form so all changes have to be made in the form. Once you link the form to a lodgement, you cannot edit any of the data.

Note that:

  • If you edit the Digital Duties Form, all parties will need to sign the form again.
  • The Digital Duties Form data cannot be edited once linked and claimed in an ELNO lodgement. If you have to make changes you need to unlink the form first.

Can I generate a duty estimate statement?

Yes. The duty estimate statement is still available after duty has been calculated. You have the option of generating a PDF settlement statement.

Why is the duty payable different to what I thought it would be? Can this be changed?

The duty verification is based on the information entered into the Digital Duties Form. If you do not agree with the duty payable, review the accuracy of the data in the Digital Duties Form.  If a change to the data is required, you will need to unlink the form.

Can I cancel a lodgement?

Yes, you can cancel a lodgement via your ELNO but only if the lodgement has not been finalised in Duties Online.

How do I unlink a form?

Electronic settlements

  1. Hover over the ‘Search’ tab.
  2. Select 'Search all transactions'.
  3. Locate the transaction and select the Transaction ID.
  4. Select 'Unlink', which is located under the transaction details in your lodgement screen.
  5. Once the form is unlinked, it can be edited.

Paper settlements

  1. Hover over the ‘Search’ tab.
  2. Select 'Search all lodgements'.
  3. Locate the lodgement and select the lodgement ID.
  4. Select ‘Cancel Lodgement’ at the top of the summary window.

Can I complete foreign purchaser additional duty, off the plan and sub-sale nomination transactions in Duties Online?

Yes, these can all be completed in Duties Online.

4. Lodgement categories

What are lodgement categories?

The lodgement categories replace the previously used Duties Online and SRO Determination. The lodgement category determines whether the transaction is a standard Duties Online transaction or a complex lodgement. All transactions are to be electronically processed via an ELNO.

Can I edit the lodgement category from an SRO determination (complex) to a DOL determination?

No. You cannot edit the lodgement category as it is based on the data entered in the Digital Duties Form. 

Once you have selected ‘Calculate duty’, you will receive a message in Duties Online if the system is unable to continue with your transaction in its current state.

If you do not agree that it is a complex lodgement, review the accuracy of the data in the Digital Duties Form.  If a change to the data is required, you will need to unlink the form.

5. Settlement

When can a complex lodgement settle?

The settlement date for a complex transaction should be at least 30 days from the date it is submitted to the SRO for a duty calculation. This ensures we have enough time to calculate the duty before settlement.

Do I have to settle all transactions within a lodgement at once?

Yes, all transactions within the ELNO workspace must be claimed and assessed in Duties Online to settle. If a transaction in the lodgement is not proceeding, contact your ELNO to cancel the transfer within the workspace.

What does intended settlement date mean?

The intended settlement date is the date the property settlement and transfer will occur, as specified in the contract. This date will be listed in the Digital Duties Form.

Can I extend the settlement date to a later date?

The settlement date can be revised to a new date for ELNO complex lodgements as long as the initial settlement date has not lapsed. To extend the settlement date for ELNO complex lodgements, you must contact the SRO and request the extension.

Once the SRO has updated the lodgement with the new proposed settlement date, please go back into your ELNO workspace and select 'Verify' to confirm the new settlement date. In Duties Online, the lodgement status will change from 'Extend Settlement Date' back to 'Allocated' once this has been successfully updated in your ELNO workspace.

ELNO complex lodgement settlement dates cannot be extended after it passes the initial scheduled settlement date stated in your ELNO workspace. If the settlement date has passed and the transaction has been ‘Certified’ but not yet settled, you will be required to create a new lodgement along with a new Digital Duties Form.

How will I know when the SRO has completed the duty calculation for a complex DOL transaction?

We will email you when we have calculated the duty. A notification will also appear on the Duties Online home page.

6. Urgent settlement escalation criteria

What if the settlement date for a complex DOL transaction is less than 30 days away?

You will need to provide a written request outlining why an urgent assessment is required.

What is the process for escalating a complex assessment for an earlier settlement date?

Select ‘Urgent assessment request’ from the drop down list of supporting documents when lodging and provide:

  • Reason for an urgent assessment.
  • Settlement date.
  • Submission/covering letter as to the duty/exemption claimed.
  • All relevant supporting documents as per the Evidentiary Requirements Manual.

What are the assessment criteria that would be used when reviewing the escalation for an earlier settlement date?

  • System restricted.
  • High value.
  • All correct supporting documents are submitted at the time of lodgement.

What transaction types are more likely to be escalated for an urgent assessment?

  • No double duty.
  • Aggregation.

What will NOT be considered a legitimate reason for requesting an earlier settlement date?

  • Ignorance of the changes to the process.
  • Not adhering to the standard processing timeframes.

7. Certifying and paying

How long is the duty verification valid?

The SRO duty verification (once ‘Certified’ in Duties Online) is valid up until the scheduled settlement date as long as there has not been any changes in the ELNO workspace after it was 'Certified and ready to settle'. 

All lodgements that have been 'Certified and ready to settle' in Duties Online that pass the scheduled settlement date will have an additional three-day grace period to ensure settlement is successfully completed without requesting a revised settlement date.

How do I certify a lodgement?

Duties Online profiles with PS-Payment schedule approvers can certify lodgements by selecting:

  1. The hyperlink on the home screen.
  2. The tick box next to the lodgement to certify.
  3. ‘Certify’ and ‘OK’.
  4. ‘OK’.

How do I pay an ELNO lodgement?

Payments for ELNO lodgements are made within the financial settlement schedule of your ELNO workspace. Contact your ELNO for further information or assistance.

Can land tax clearance certificate liabilities be paid electronically at settlement?

Yes, you can pay a land tax clearance certificate liability by credit card, BPAY or via your ELNO (contact your ELNO for further instructions).

8. Transactions that cannot be lodged via an ELNO

What transactions remain paper settlements that cannot be lodged via an ELNO?

The following cannot be lodged via an ELNO and must be lodged as a paper transfer via Duties Online:

  • Conversion of land use entitlements.
  • Shariah finance.
  • Fractional interest – interest titles/folios.
  • Fractional interest – assignment.
  • Fractional interest – surrender.
  • Fractional interest – life and remainder.
  • Deceased estate transfers with more than one consideration.

The following cannot be lodged via an ELNO or Duties Online and need to be emailed directly to electroniclodgement@sro.vic.gov.au:

  • Equity release program.
  • Vesting orders.
  • Form 14 – change in beneficial ownership (partnership).
  • Adverse possession.
  • Transactions whereby parties are unable to complete a Digital Duties Form.
  • Leasehold transfers.
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