Changes to state taxes – December 2017
The State Taxation Acts Further Amendment Act 2017, which received Royal Assent on 19 December 2017, introduces changes to various Acts including the Congestion Levy Act 2005, Duties Act 2000, Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012, Land Tax Act 2005, Payroll Tax Act 2007, Taxation Administration Act 1997, Unclaimed Money Act 2008, Valuation of Land Act 1960 and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.
Congestion Levy Act 2005
The Congestion Levy Act 2005 has been amended as follows:
- The Act currently exempts parking spaces provided at the Melbourne Zoo for all staff and visitors. The boundary relating to the exemption has been expanded by 200 metres to ensure parking spaces located just outside the Melbourne Zoo, which are used by zoo visitors and staff, are exempted as intended.
- The exemption for parking spaces used only for shift workers is now better targeted so that only parking spaces reserved for and used solely by employees of a 24/7 enterprise, who are regularly rostered to work shifts there, are exempt.
- A congestion levy exemption now applies for parking spaces provided on land owned by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation.
Duties Act 2000
The Duties Act 2000 has been amended to:
- Confirm the legislative basis for charging foreign purchaser additional duty (FPAD) on dutiable transactions under which a land-related interest in residential property is transferred to a foreign purchaser and the transfer is otherwise chargeable with duty. The provision is taken to have come into operation on 1 July 2015, being the commencement of the FPAD provisions and is consistent with current administrative practice.
- Clarify the application of the first home buyer duty concession calculation formula so it reflects the concessional amount of duty payable.
Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012
Provisions for the service of documents and payments in the Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012 have been updated to reflect administrative and postal changes.
The postal delivery timeframe for documents served by the Commissioner has changed from two to seven business days to more closely align with Australia Post’s delivery timeframes. Documents and payments sent electronically or by fax are taken to have been received by the Commissioner at the actual time of receipt, even when received outside business hours.
Land Tax Act 2005
The Land Tax Act 2005 provides an exemption from the Absentee Owner Surcharge (AOS) for Australian-based absentee corporations conducting a commercial operation in Australia, whose commercial activities make a significant contribution to the Victorian economy and community. The AOS exemption has now been extended to allow absentee trusts to qualify.
The land tax legislation also currently calculates the amount of the AOS for land held under a chain of trusts based on the interest in the first trust held by the trustee of the second trust. The amendments will provide that the AOS will now be calculated on the proportion of absentee beneficiaries’ interests in the land subject to the trust. This ensures that the AOS calculation is a truer reflection of the absentee beneficiaries’ interest in the land.
These changes apply from the 2018 tax year.
Payroll Tax Act 2007
The exemption for wages paid to a new apprentice or trainee by an approved group training organisation has been extended to 'for-profit' organisations that are declared an approved group training organisation. This new exemption applies from 1 July 2018.
Taxation Administration Act 1997
The Taxation Administration Act 1997 has been amended as follows:
- References to certain authorised recipients listed in the secrecy provisions of the Act have been updated.
- A provision under the Act which allowed a tax officer to disclose details of the duty paid in land transfer duty transactions via an online look-up service, has been repealed.
- The postal delivery timeframe for documents served by the Commissioner has changed from two to seven business days to more closely align with Australia Post’s delivery timeframes. Documents and payments sent electronically or by fax are taken to have been received by the Commissioner at the actual time of receipt, even when received outside business hours.
- The Act now contains new provisions enabling future electronic service by the Commissioner, for example by providing taxpayers with access to a secure internet site similar to myGov. Taxpayers choosing this form of communication can be notified by the SRO by email or text message that an assessment or other correspondence can be accessed via a secure inbox.
Unclaimed Money Act 2008
The postal delivery timeframe for documents served by the Registrar of Unclaimed Money has changed from two to seven business days to more closely align with Australia Post’s delivery timeframes. Documents and payments sent electronically or by fax are taken to have been received by the Registrar at the actual time of receipt, even when received outside business hours.
Valuation of Land Act 1960
The Valuer-General Victoria will be the sole valuation authority conducting valuations of all lands in Victoria. General valuations will be conducted annually from the beginning of 2019. Individual councils are able to “opt-out” of the centralised Valuer-General system until 2022.
The State Government will pay the full cost of annual revaluations, with councils paying for supplementary valuations.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998
The definition of 'taxing Act' has been updated to cover all laws administered by the SRO which provide for referrals to or reviews by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.