State & indirect taxes State taxes Transfer duties

Draft Revenue Ruling - Exemption 33 of the Stamp Duties Act 1923 (SA)

Published Date: 26 Mar 2024


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The Tax Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Commissioner in relation to the Exemption 33 draft Revenue Ruling that provides guidance regarding the entities, objectives, or functions that can be deemed charitable or religious, along with the necessary evidence that needs to be provided when seeking a duty exemption, that was circulated on 29 December 2023 (proposed draft ruling).

In the development of this submission, we have closely consulted with our SA State Taxes Committee to prepare a considered response that represents the views of the broader membership of The Tax Institute.

The Tax Institute is of the view that there are some significant concerns that we consider require further consideration and amendment before the proposed draft ruling is finalised.

Our recommended further amendments to the proposed draft ruling may be summarised as follows:

  • The proposed draft ruling should be revised to reduce compliance and administrative costs. Stamp duty in South Australia now applies only to residential and primary production land, resulting in fewer transactions requiring exemption. Removing the Second Limb (that the Commissioner is satisfied that the property will not be used wholly or predominantly for commercial or business purposes) from the proposed draft ruling would save costs without significantly impacting Government revenue.
  • Alternatively, if the Second Limb of the proposed draft ruling is to be retained, it should be interpreted sensibly based on the original policy intent. In our view, the current draft of the proposed draft ruling does not effectively achieve this purpose. The proposed draft ruling should recognise uses closely related to charitable purposes, such as renting to homeless people at a low rent.
  • Further, specific points that need addressing include accepting ACNC registration as evidence for exemption; clarifying that non-charitable purposes incidental to the charitable purpose do not disqualify an applicant; and correcting misrepresentations of the Second Limb in the proposed ruling. In this regard, the Commissioner's paraphrasing of the Second Limb appears to be incorrect, and the exclusion of land banking as an example highlights this discrepancy. Our detailed response and recommendations to improve the proposed draft ruling are contained in Appendix A.

The Tax Institute is the leading forum for the tax community in Australia. We are committed to shaping the future of the tax profession and the continuous improvement of the tax system for the benefit of all. In this regard, The Tax Institute seeks to influence tax and revenue policy at the highest level with a view to achieving a better Australian tax system for all.


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The Tax Institute
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State & indirect taxes State taxes Transfer duties

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