RevenueSA is seeking the public's view on the rewrite of the Stamp Duties Act 1923 (“the Act”) through what it calls "an open and transparent consultation process". Stage one of this rewrite process, which involves seeking public feedback, is now underway on the state's public consultation website "".
A discussion paper has been released by RevenueSA, who said:
As part of the request for feedback, the discussion paper makes it clear that the rewrite is not to be seen as an opportunity to "alter existing Government policy which underpins the current revenue base arising from stamp duty". The rewrite is intended to be revenue neutral, with the aim being "only to reduce complexity and facilitate improved compliance with the Act".
The current Act and subordinate legislation dates from 1923. Over its lengthy existence, the Act has accumulated around 150 amendments, and as a result, has become cumbersome to navigate and understand. Because of this longevity, the main matters which the rewrite is intended to focus on and achieve are:
The rewrite hopes to achieve cost savings to businesses and end-users due to an increased ease of compliance with the legislation.
As part of the discussion paper Revenue SA has produced awhich documents various issues identified by industry practitioners and taxpayers as concerning provisions under the Act. Some examples of items listed in the Table are:
As part of the Commissioner of State Taxation, RevenueSA's responsibilities include the overall management of:
The revenue collected by RevenueSA (apart from the ESL Levy which specifically funds the provision of emergency services) is used by the State Government to fund the provision of essential services including public health and safety, education and law and order in South Australian.
The rewrite follows from the 2017/2018 Federal Budget, where the Commonwealth Government made commitments to work with State and Territory governments to reduce the government regulatory burden on small businesses and the broader economy. To this end, a Small Business Regulatory Reform Agreement (SBRRA) was established to concentrate on:
Following the Agreement, the SA Department of Treasury and Finance submitted four reforms to the Commonwealth it considered met the criteria, one of which was a rewrite of the Act and Regulations. According to RevenueSA, the motivation for the rewrite came from small businesses, lawyers, conveyancers and industry associations seeking reform. Their key concerns included identifying provisions that are outdated; and acknowledging that expert advice is required to interpret the Act, even for a simple property transaction, which leads to higher costs for end-users.
External consultation on the rewrite began in May 2019 and is due to end on 26 July 2019. Following this, RevenueSA is to compile the feedback and produce legislation by early 2020.
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