Changes to state taxes June 2023
The State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 27 June 2023.
This Act introduced measures announced in the 2023–24 Victorian Budget, including:
- a new duty exemption for a transfer of land from an immediate family member to a person with a disability
- an increase to the property value thresholds for pensioner and concession cardholder duty exemption and concession
- a temporary land tax surcharge from the 2024 land tax year
- an increase to the absentee owner surcharge rate from 2% to 4%
- a temporary payroll tax surcharge to employers who pay Australia-wide wages of $10 million or more.
The State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2023 also made amendments to various state taxation acts.
Gambling Taxation Act 2023
The Gambling Taxation Act 2023 (the Act) received Royal Assent on 6 June 2023. It imposes various gambling taxes administered by the Commissioner of State Revenue (Commissioner) from 1 July 2023.
The Act implements new arrangements for casino taxes payable by the Victorian casino operator. It transfers responsibility for casino taxation from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) to the Commissioner and the State Revenue Office.
These arrangements were the Government’s response to a recommendation of the Victorian Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence that the Taxation Administration Act 1997 (TAA) be extended to cover casino taxes payable by the casino operator.
The new arrangements:
- implement a 2022–23 Victorian Budget announcement to equalise the tax rates in respect of electronic gaming machines operated by a casino operator and machines operated by clubs (being venue operators with club gaming machine entitlements) from 1 July 2023. The flat 22.97% tax rate that applied to the casino operator under its previous tax arrangements has been replaced with a marginal tax rate scale in the new Act, with the highest rate being 60.67%
- amend the Casino Control Act 1991 (CCA) to enable the VGCCC to take disciplinary action against the casino operator for taxation-related contraventions of the new Act or the TAA as it applies to the Act
- amend the Casino (Management Agreement) Act 1993 (CMAA) to repeal the former casino taxation provisions and to provide that the State of Victoria has no liability for losses incurred as a result of implementing new taxation arrangements.
Apart from the Budget initiative, the new provisions are broadly similar to the former taxation provisions under the CMAA, with changes as necessary to transfer administration to the Commissioner and to establish a framework consistent with other taxation laws. For example, the casino operator is required to register with the Commissioner and lodge monthly returns.
Keno tax and wagering and betting tax
The Act also relocates the taxing provisions for point of consumption keno tax and wagering and betting tax from the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (GRA) to it. The Act’s provisions are similar to the old keno tax and wagering and betting tax provisions under the GRA, except minor obsolete or redundant provisions have been removed.
It also implements the 2023–24 Victorian Budget announcement to increase the wagering and betting tax rate from 10% to 15% from 1 July 2024.
The Act has become a taxation law under the TAA. This means the TAA provides for refunds and offsets of taxes under the new Act, the disclosure of protected information to the VGCCC and the criminal liability of officers of bodies corporate for certain offences under the Act.