Tax changes for New Year

THE State Government has confirmed that three types of stamp duty will be abolished on January 1.

The changes are a key part of the Government’s business tax reform package, which treasurer Eric Ripper said comprised 46 separate measures.

Stamp duty on cheques, leases and unlisted shares will be abolished from the start of next year.

Other changes taking effect at the same time include widening the conveyance duty base to include chattels transferred with any type of dutiable property and intellectual property such as trademarks, patents and copyrights.

The Government has also reduced the ‘land rich’ threshold from 80 per cent to 60 per cent, affecting companies with land as their main asset.

The Government said broadening the base of existing taxes would capture modern transactions and spread the tax burden more evenly.

“This is a massive reform that will require some adjustment, particularly by businesses, before they come into effect in three weeks’ time,” Mr Ripper said.

Stamp duty on life insurance and workers’ compensation insurance will be abolished from July 1 2004, while debits tax will be scrapped from July 1 2005.

Opposition leader Colin Barnett has called on the Government to undertake genuine tax reform and reduce rates of property and motor vehicle stamp duty.

“If [Mr Ripper] is genuine about some real tax cuts next year, he should make a commitment to reducing rates of State taxes, particularly stamp duty on property conveyances, as the Liberal Party has done,” Mr Barnett said.


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