Where a private company or unit trust owns real estate with a value of $1 million or more then duty may be payable when there is a change in shareholding or unit holding. If duty applies it will be chargeable at the rates applicable to land transfers.

Duty will be chargeable where the acquisition of shares or units amounts to a ‘relevant acquisition’. In general terms, where the acquirer owns 50% or more of the ordinary shares in the company after the acquisition (20% for unit trusts) then the acquisition will likely be subject to duty.

The provisions can also apply where a shareholder or unit holder dies and as a result their shares or units pass to a beneficiary. Although an exemption from duty can apply a Landholder Acquisition Statement must still be completed and lodged with the State Revenue Office within 30 days of the relevant acquisition occurring. An application for exemption from duty should also be made.

The landholder duty provisions are complex. Whenever there is a change in the shareholding of a company or unit holding of a unit trust they must be considered, including where a change occurs due to death. We can help clients lodge the correct forms and apply for an exemption from duty. If you require assistance with this please contact Rob Warnock.