Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
From 1 July 2011, Queensland will move from a 'land
rich' to a 'landholder' stamp duty model. The
Community Ambulance Cover Levy Repeal and Revenue and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (Qld) was passed by Parliament
on 17 June 2011 and subject to receiving assent will affect both
listed and unlisted companies and listed unit trusts which hold
interests in land in Queensland. Duty will be payable where a
'relevant acquisition' is made in an entity and the value
of that entity's Queensland land holdings exceeds $2 million
(either alone or through its subsidiaries). There will no longer be
a requirement that the landholding be a substantial portion of the
entity's total assets (i.e. 60% or more).
A relevant acquisition will occur where a person acquires a
'significant interest' in a landholder. A significant
interest is an interest of 50% or more in an unlisted company and
90% or more in a listed company or listed unit trust. All interests
held in an entity are taken into account to determine whether a
person has a significant interest and duty may apply regardless of
when the interests were acquired or whether or not the entity was a
landholder or land rich when a previous interest was acquired
(provided that certain excluded interests are to be disregarded
when calculating the duty payable).
For public landholders (listed companies or listed unit trusts)
land holder duty is 10% of the duty that would be chargeable on a
transfer of all Queensland land holdings of the landholder, reduced
proportionately for excluded interests. Excluded interests include
those interests acquired when no Queensland land was held and
interests acquired before 1 July 2011.
For private landholders (unlisted companies) the dutiable value
of a relevant acquisition is calculated by multiplying the
unencumbered value of all Queensland land holdings of the
landholder by the total interests held in the landholder
constituting the relevant acquisition, less any excluded interests.
Excluded interests include those held for more than 3 years (except
if the latest acquisition is part of an arrangement) and interests
acquired when no Queensland land was held.
The new 'landholder' system effectively broadens the tax
base. It will apply not just to those previously 'land
rich' corporations but also to other companies with interests
in land in Queensland incidental to their operations. It also has
implications for takeovers of listed companies and trusts.
Acquisitions made in private landholders before 1 July 2011 will
generally be taken into account in determining whether there has
been a relevant acquisition on or after 1 July 2011.
Queensland's new landholder duty regime is similar to those
already adopted in Western Australia, the ACT, New South Wales and
the Northern Territory. South Australia is also moving to a
'landholder' duty model on 1 July 2011 and Victoria seems
set to follow on 1 July 2012.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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