Under the relevant legislation, if dutiable transactions
comprise substantially one arrangement, then transfer duty should
be paid as if the transactions were one transaction. This is known
as aggregation and typically results in a higher amount of duty
Criteria used to determine whether transactions comprise one
Section 30(4) of the Duties Act 2001 sets out a number of criteria
(discussed below) that will be taken into account in determining
whether transactions comprise substantially one arrangement.
(a) Whether the transactions are contained in one
In this case, the buyer bought a number of properties from the
same seller under separate contracts. There was no suggestion this
criterion was met.
(b) Whether any of the transactions are conditional on entry
into, or completion of, any of the other transactions
Here none of the separate contracts were conditional on each
other, although they each contained a similar set of special
(c) Whether the parties to any of the transactions are the
This was uncontroversial - the buyer and seller under each
contract were the same.
(d) Whether any party to a transaction is a related person of
another party to any of the other transactions
The QCAT member noted that the buyer and seller were not related
for the purposes of the transfer duty legislation.
(e) The time over which the transactions take place
The contracts in this matter were each dated the same day and
settled on the same day.
(f) Whether, before the transactions take place, the dutiable
property the subject of the transactions was used together, or
dependently with one another, by the transferor or transferors
The QCAT member was satisfied that the five separate land
parcels were, until settlement of the contracts, held for a single
purpose by the seller (i.e. redevelopment). The member made this
finding even though each of the five parcels was leased to a
separate tenant under leases with differing terms.
(g) Whether, after the transactions take place, the dutiable
property the subject of the transactions will be used together, or
dependently with one another, by the transferee or transferees
The QCAT member was satisfied that while the five parcels were
not used dependently (i.e. there were no shared services or
driveways), they were used together by the buyer for the purposes
of investment, development and leasing.
QCAT upholds assessment by Office of State Revenue
The QCAT member noted that several of the criteria listed above
were met, and also noted the five separate contracts were all
entered into in similar circumstances (i.e. by private negotiation,
as distinct from, for example, five auctions).
The QCAT member upheld the OSR's finding that, as a result
of aggregation, additional transfer duty in the amount of
$30,095.50 was payable. Unpaid tax interest was also applied.
The income tax treatment of any property lease incentive will vary, depending on the nature of the inducement provided.
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