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Brave new world … recent developments in duty law


The majority of state and territory jurisdictions now generally only impose duty on transactions involving land or landholding entities. Most jurisdictions no longer subject acquisitions of business assets to duty; however, in each jurisdiction, some notable exceptions still apply. This article explores some of the topical issues arising in duty law throughout the Australian states and territories. The first part of the article considers the current ramifications of acquiring businesses operating in different states and territories.

The second part of the article considers the implications of acquiring interests in landholding entities now that most Australian jurisdictions, including NSW, have moved towards a land-based regime for imposing duty. The final part of the article briefly reviews some of the common duty concessions or exemptions that arise in land and business restructures.

Author profiles

Peter Slegers CTA
Photo of author, Peter SLEGERS Peter heads Cowell Clarke's tax and revenue practice group. He advises and acts for a wide range of public and private companies as well as for the trustees of self managed superannuation funds. Peter’s areas of expertise include: income tax (as it impacts on business and high net worth clients); capital gains tax; goods and services tax; state taxes and superannuation law. Peter is regularly involved in advising SMSF trustees on issues associated with superannuation income streams. Peter is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the SMSF Professionals Association of Australia Ltd in addition to being a member of the Tax Institute’s South Australian State Council. - Current at 08 October 2019
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Justin O’Donohoe
Justin is a Lawyer with Cowell Clarke.
Current at 1 October 2016


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