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Land tax  

Land tax is a state based tax.  In NSW land tax is levied on the unimproved capital value of land that is owned at midnight on 31 December each year.  There are exemptions for your main residence, primary production land, aged care facilities and land owned by religious institutions.   In May 2004, the NSW government changed the rules for calculating land tax by removing the threshold and introducing a stepped scale based on land value.  This brought many more people into the land tax base, but this measure proved to be politically unpopular and it has since reverted to the previous arrangements.  The threshold for 2006 (ie land owned at midnight on 31 December 2005) is $330,000.   Land owners should review their land holding each year and determine whether of not they need to register for land tax.  A land tax clearance is required in order to sell a property and this often triggers prior year amendments (including penalties) when a taxpayer has not registered for land tax.  

Payroll tax  

Payroll tax is a state based tax levied on businesses whose annual payroll exceeds the payroll tax threshold.  The current threshold in NSW is $600,000 which includes salaries and wages, superannuation and fringe benefits.  The current rate of tax is 6% for wages in excess of the threshhold.  

There are grouping provisions that apply to ensure that taxpayers do not artificially come below the threshold.  

Other states also impose payroll tax and there are implications for entities that pay wages in more than one state.  

Stamp duty  

Stamp duty is a State tax on documents and certain transactions, such as:-  

Motor vehicle registration and transfer

Life and general insurance policies

Mortgages

Leases and hire arrangements

Transfer of real property or business assets

Transfer of non-quoted shares  

There are different rates for each type of transaction and there are also a range of exemptions that apply in particular circumstances.  

Duties are administered by the Office of State Revenue (or its equivalent) in each State.   

The Office of State Revenue is the government department responsible for the administration of the above taxes.

 

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