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General Information on Stamp Duty by xarrnet

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									               F a c t                           S h e e t                          


              General Information on
                   Stamp Duty
                                        As at 1 July 2006




Introduction
Stamp duty may be described as a general revenue tax which is imposed on various documents
(and in some cases undocumented acquisitions) such as transfers, agreements to sell real estate,
business assets, other property, documented gifts, policies of insurance, mortgages, and motor
vehicle licence transfers.

The revenue is paid into the Consolidated Fund of the State, which is used to meet the costs of
public services such as education, health, law and order, and public safety.

Stamp duty is imposed under the Stamp Act 1921 with supporting administrative provisions
contained in the Taxation Administration Act 2003.


Obligations
The party to the transaction who is responsible for the payment of the duty (usually the purchaser,
borrower, etc) must ensure that the document is correctly stamped. Documents may be lodged for
assessment at the Office of State Revenue or in some cases, with Clerk of Courts and Mining
Registrars, which are generally located at Country Courthouses.

A document becomes dutiable immediately after it has been signed (executed) by all parties and
must be lodged with the Office of State Revenue within two (2) months of execution, unless the
contract is a ‘general conditional contract’ for which an alternative lodgement period is available.
Please refer to the Conditional Contracts FACT SHEET available from the Office of State Revenue
or the website at www.osr.wa.gov.au for further details.

Penalty tax applies for the late lodgement of documents. For further information on penalty tax for
late lodgement please refer to the Commissioner’s Practices available on the website at
www.osr.wa.gov.au

The length of time allowed to pay a stamp duty assessment is one (1) month from the date of
issue of the Assessment Notice. Alternative payment periods are available, however, for certain
conditional contracts. For further details on the alternative payment periods, please refer to the
Conditional Contracts FACT SHEET available from the Office of State Revenue or the website at
www.osr.wa.gov.au.

Upon application, the Commissioner may allow the duty to be paid in specified instalments.
Interest is payable under such an arrangement. A document will not be released until all
outstanding duty, penalties and/or interest have been paid.




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The maximum penalty tax for late payment is 20% of the outstanding duty, however, in most
instances a penalty tax of 5% of the outstanding duty will be imposed. A Late Payment Penalty
Tax Assessment Notice will issue when an assessment is not paid by the due date. Please refer to
Commissioner’s Practice TAA 4.1 for further details on late payment penalty tax.

Objection
A taxpayer may object to an assessment of stamp duty within sixty (60) days of issue of the Stamp
Duty Assessment Notice. The objection must be in writing and set out in full detail the grounds of
the objection.

Lodging an objection does not suspend or defer the payment of stamp duty by the due date stated
in the Stamp Duty Assessment Notice.

If a taxpayer believes that the Commissioner’s objection decision is incorrect, they may apply to
the State Administrative Tribunal for a review of that decision within sixty (60) days after the
Commissioner serves the notice of the decision on the taxpayer.


Refunds of stamp duty
The Stamp Act 1921 provides for refunds in certain circumstances. Each application must be
accompanied by the stamped documents. Application forms are available from the website or
upon request.


Exemptions
Certain documents as set out in the Third Schedule to the Stamp Act 1921 are automatically
exempt from duty and do not need to be presented for stamping. From 1 July 2004, deeds that
evidence a lease or agreement to lease, together with deeds for instruments of security that are no
longer subject to mortgage duty are exempt.
Other exemptions contained in the Act that do require documents to be lodged for stamping, apply
to:
   the Crown, Local Authorities and designated Crown Instrumentalities or Government
    Authorities;
   gifts to superannuation funds;
   charitable or similar organisations in respect of conveyances and mortgages;
   transfer of farms between family members;
   corporate reconstructions; and
   transfer of the family home from sole ownership by one spouse to the other partner to achieve
    joint ownership as joint tenants. The exemption is also available to de facto partners of two (2)
    years or more.


Information requirements
Stamp Duty Information Requirements, which are available on the website at www.osr.wa.gov.au
or upon request, set out the standard information which has been identified by this Office as being
necessary to determine the correct duty applicable to most classes of documents. The appropriate
information should accompany each document in accordance with the instructions.




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Stamping of documents

Routine documents
Routine documents are those between parties who are at ‘arms length’, which do not involve time
consuming or complex assessments, do not require the exercise of discretion or judgement or do
not necessitate a valuation.

There are four services available for the stamping of routine documents:

      Postal (Immediate Stamping) – This service is for documents sent in the post accompanied
       by a cheque for the duty payable.

      Public (Immediate Stamping) – This service provides for documents, which are brought into
       the Office and are of a routine nature. The instruments are assessed, stamped and returned
       immediately. This service is available between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm.

      Country Courthouse – in regional areas Clerk of Courts and Mining Registrars can stamp a
       range of routine documents on behalf of the Commissioner.

      Online Stamping – This Internet facility for approved persons provides an alternative method
       of stamping instruments, which would otherwise be presented to the Office of State
       Revenue. Online Stamping enables the electronic entry of details of self-assessments,
       endorsement of dutiable instruments, lodgement of returns and payment of stamp duty online.

       Please click on the link to learn more about Online Stamping.

Non-Routine Documents
Non-routine documents or documents evidencing transactions between related parties should be
lodged for assessment and be accompanied by a completed Stamp Duty Document Lodgement
and Assessment Form.


Website
The latest information on stamp duty and other taxes administered by the Office of State Revenue,
including Fact Sheets, Commissioner’s Practices, Forms and Applications can be obtained from
the website at www.osr.wa.gov.au 24 hours a day.


Contact the Office of State Revenue
    Office             Plaza Level                                  Telephone           (08) 9262 1100
                       200 St Georges Terrace                                           1300 368 364
                       PERTH WA 6000                                                    (WA country STD callers only –
                                                                                        local call charge)
    Office hours       8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday
                                                                    Facsimile           (08) 9226 0834
    Postal             Office of State Revenue
                                                                    E-mail              stampduty@dtf.wa.gov.au
                       GPO Box T1600
                       PERTH WA 6845                                Website             www.osr.wa.gov.au


Note: The information in this FACT SHEET is for guidance purposes only. It is not an exhaustive explanation of the
         provisions of the Stamp Act 1921, and reference should be made to the Act for complete details.




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