STAMP DUTIES Page. Stamp Acts, 1894 to 1930:- Stamp Act, 1894 (58 Vic. No. 8) .. .. .. .. 1108 Stamp Act Amendment Act of 1904 (4 Edw. V I Z . No. 14) 1172 Stamp Act Amendment Act of 1918 (9 Geo. V, No. 11) . . 1173 Stamp Acts Amendment Act of 1926 (17 Geo. V. No. 10) . . 1175 Stamp Acts Amendment Act of 1928 (19 Geo. V. No. 13) . . 1175 Stamp Acts Amendment Act of 1929 (20 Geo. V.No. 21) . . 1176 Stamp Acts Amendment Act of 1930 (21 Geo. V. No. 49) . . 1176 PRELIMINARY NOTE. Limits of Legislative Power.-The Parliament of this State is empowered to legislate for the peace, welfare and good government of this State (Constitution Act of 1867, s. 2, title CONSTITUTION). This authority extends only to taxation of persons, things and circumstances within the limits of the territory of this State (C‘ommissioner of S t a m p s v. Wisnholt (1915), 20 C.L.R. 531 ;  St. R. Qd. 249). See further, as to territorial limitations on the taxing power, the Preliminary Note t o the title INCOME TAX. There is a strong presumption that the Legislature intends its Acts to be effective and a Stamp Duties Act will accordingly be construed, so far as the language will allow, as attempting to impose duty only to the extent of the legislative powers. Such an Act will therefore be construed, where that can be done, as applying only to instruments executed in or coming into this State (Comr. of Stamps v. Wienhott, supcm). Such appears t o be the intention of The Stamp Act, 1894, post. See the words “executed in Queensland . . . . done in Queensland” in s. 4~ thereof. The Commissioner of Stamp Duties.-Provision is made f o r the appointment of a Commissioner of Stamp Duties and Deputy Commis- sioners and for the administration of the Act by them, by The Stamp Act, 1894, ss. 5, 7, post. Branch offices of the Commissioner may be opened (ibid., ss. 6, 8). The Commissioner is also charged with the collection of certain other duties and taxes and the administration of the Acts relating thereto. These are succession and probate duties (The Succession and Probate Duties Act, 1892, s. 11, title SUCCESSION), gift duty (The Gift Duty Act of 1926, ss. 24 (1), (2) , 10, title GIFT DUTY), taxes imposed on bookmakers and stamp duty on betting tickets (The Racecourses Act of 1923, s. 8, title GAMING), taxes payable in respect and of totalisators (The Totalisator Tax Act, 1892, s. 3, title G.IMING). 1105 1106 Stamp D U t ies. [Vol. VIIIm The Stamp Acts, 1894 to 1930.-Stamp duties are imposed upon the instruments and a t the rates set forth in the First Schedule to The Stamp Act, 1894, post (s. 4). Duties become due and owing, for the most part, upon execution of the instrument chargeable, and liability f o r payment is upon every person signing o r executing an instrument (s. 413). Provision for recovery of duties is contained in The Stamp Act, 1894, ss. 4 ~ 77, SA, 80, post, and The Crown Remedies Act of 1874, , ss. 2, 2 ~ 6, et seq., title CROWN. The payment of duties is denoted by stamps, which, unless express provision is made f o r use of an adhesive stamp, are t o be impressed upon the instrument chargeable (The Stamp Act, 1894, s. 13). When an instrument carries either a stamp that it is not liable to duty or that it has been duly stamped, it is t o be available for all purposes irrespective of any objection relating t o duty (s. 22 ( 5 ) ) . A n instrument stamped with an adhesive stamp is not to be deemed duly stamped unless the stamp is cancelled in the manner described by s. 18. The Commissioner of Stamp Duties may be required to give a decision as to whether a particular instrument is liable to duty, or as to the amount of duty payable (The Stamp Act, 1894, s. 22, p o s t ) . His decision rnay be made the subject of appeal t o the Supreme Court by way of a special case (s. 24). Dutiable instruments must, for the greater part, be stumped within thirty days after execution or receipt within this State where executed outside; but in the case of certain instruments specified the document must be stamped prior to execution (ss. 26, 43). Failure t o stamp as required is punishable by the penalty provided by s. 26, as to the imposition of which, however, the Commissioner is clothed with some discretion. The effect on the instrument of failure to stamp it as required does not appear t o be t o invalidate it but t o render it unavail- able in civil proceedings (see s. 4~ and notes thereto; Evidence and Discovery Act of 1867, ss. 45-48, title EVIDENCE), unstamped instru- and ments cannot be registered in any books or records, whether by a public officer o r in the share register of a company (ss. 30, 31, 44). The Stamp Acts apply to the Insurance Commissioner and the business conducted by him (The Insurance Act of 1916, Sched. I, r. 15, title INSURANCE). Exempted Instruments.-In addition to the exemptions contained in The Stamp Acts, 1894 to 1930, post, exemptions of specific types of instruments are to be found in a number of Acts. The most important of these appear t o be the following: mortgages, securities, releases of mortgages and securities, and other documents executed foy the purposes of The Agricultural Bank Act of 1923, The State Advances Act of 1916 (title BANKING) and The Co-operative Agricultural Production and Advances to Farmers Acts, 1914 t o 1919 (title AGRICULTURE) (The Agricultural Bank Act of 1923, s. 24; The State Advances Act of 1916, s. 17 ( 3 ) ) ; claims of lien under The Contractors’ and Workmen’s Lien Act of 1906, title LABOUR ibid., s. 28) ; agreements and instruments (see under The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act of 1932, title IJABOUR (ibid.,s. 78) ; documents executed for purposes of The Workers’ Homes Act of 1919, title LABOUR (see ibid., s. 2 4 ~ ; contracts and ) documents executed under The Closer Settlement Act of 1906, title LAND (ibid.,s. 37) ; receipts for payments made by members in respect of their shares in building societies (The Building Societies Act of 1886, R. 33, 1107 Note. Prdirninw~ title SocIErIEs) ; certain documents in respect of the business of registered friendly societies (The Friendly Societies Act of 1913, s. 27, title SOCIETIES) ; leases, licenses, agreements and contracts entered into by the Commissioner of Irrigation and Water Supply under The Water Act of 1926, title WATER SUPPLY N D ~ SEWERAGE (ibid.,Sched., Part I, r. 28 (3) ) . The Governor in Council is empowered to exempt from duty documents relating to the settlement of Crown lands (The Land Acts Amendment Act of 1929, s. 78, title LAND). Other Provisions.-Other provisions of the statute law relating to stamp duties are The Criminal Code (1899), ss. 491, 507, 511, 488 I11 ( b ) , 642, title CRIMINALLaw (various offences with respect t o stamps) ; The Companies Act of 1931, ss. 15, 21 ( c ) , 54 ( 2 ) , 52 ( 3 ) , 99 (5), title COMPANIES (duty on various documents) ; The Racecourses Act of 1923, s. 4 and The Racing Regulation Amendment Act of 1930, s. 22 ( 4 ) , title GAMING(duty on betting tickets) ; Common Law Practice Act of 1867, s. 46, title PRACTICE new trial for incorrect ruling that instrument (no not liable or sufficiently stamped). Construction of Stamp Acts.-" The consensus of opinion nom appears to be that the same rules of construction are t o be applied to all statutes. Whether the statute be a taxing statute or otherwise, it is the duty of the Court to give effect to the intention of the Legislature, and that intention is t o be found in the language used in the statute as applied to the subject matter of the enactment, and if there be a fair and reasonable doubt, the subject should get the benefit of that doubt, and should not be charged with a tax unless the language by which the tax is imposed is perfectly clear and free from do,ubt " (Chubb J. in Conzrs.. of Stamps v. Bank of NEW Wales, [19091 St. R. Qd. 249, at p. 271). Soi~tZi. See also Comrs. of Stamps v. Wiertholt (1915), 20 C.L.R. 531;  St. R. Qd. 249, at p. 264. The Court will lean towards a construction which imposes equality of taxation (Robwts v. Collector o f Imposts, [ 19191 V.L.R. 638, at p. 645). As t o principles for construction of taxing i4cts, see also the Preliminary Note to the title INCOME Halsbury's TAX; Laws of England (2nd ea.), Vol. 28, p. 446.