Stamp duty: Court explains

Premier Richard Court has responded to a request from the WA division of the Property Council for an explanation of the intention to apply stamp duty on property transactions that attract a GST, establishing the duty as a second tax dip.

Mr Court said in his response: “There are undoubted benefits from tax reform, although I share your concern that the Common-wealth’s reforms did not permit the abolition of further State taxes in the short term.”

Mr Court also says in his letter: “In relation to commercial

property, I understand that the sale constituting a ‘going concern’ will be GST-free. However, until the Australian Taxation Office clarifies exactly what will constitute a ...the impact of the GST on stamp duty from commercial property sales will be uncertain.

“The option remains open to consider stamp duty rates after the first year of the GST...Any adjustment to rates before this time would be premature, given the uncertainties about the timing (and quantum) of the expected increase in stamp duty revenue from property conveyances,” Mr Court said.

The Executive Director of the Property Council in WA Mr Joe Lenzo said: “The Property Council is disappointed that its members must bear the cost of this ‘suck it and see’ approach by governments to tax reform and will continue to stenuously oppose this impost.”

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