Monday, April 4, 2011

Important stamp duty changes in Queensland

For those advisers who provide guidance to trusts with assets in Queensland, relatively important changes have been announced to the Duties Act.
Previous posts have mentioned the difficulties surrounding corporate trustee duty, particularly in relation to the Commissioner’s discretion in determining whether it applies.

This discretion has now been removed.

Similarly, the discretion surrounding whether a trust is a 'family trust' and therefore able to get access to various concessionary provisions has also been removed.

At least on the face of the new provisions, it should be easier to implement rearrangements of family trusts (particularly in succession situations), however due to the vagaries of how many trust deeds are drafted, advisers will need to be extremely careful to ensure that any particular change does in fact comply with new rules.

It should be noted that the changes are only in bill form at this stage – in other words, they are not formally legislated as yet.

Until next week.