WA Cuts Residential Property Red Tape

WA Cuts Residential Property Red Tape

Western Australia Minister for Finance Simon O’Brien

New Transfer Duty Arrangements Commence March 1, 2011

Victor P Taffa

New, Simplified Transfer Duty Arrangements will be introduced in Western Australia on March 1, Finance Minister Simon O’Brien announced today.

The Major Benefit of the new arrangements will be that for most Residential Property Transfers, a purchaser will be able to pay duty at the time a transaction is settled.

“Currently, purchasers often have to incur borrowing costs to pay duty in advance of settlement where lenders require an endorsed transfer document to proceed with settlement.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Under the new arrangements, this will no longer be necessary, provided the purchaser’s agent processes the transaction through the Office of State Revenue’s online duty system.”

“The changes will also significantly simplify the timing rules for the lodgement of property transfer documents.” Mr. O’Brien said.

 

“The new arrangements should reduce the likelihood of a person failing to lodge their transaction documents on time and then being penalised by the Commissioner of State Revenue.”

The Minister said the new arrangements would also extend the time allowed for payment of duty in some cases where the settlement of a property transaction occurs well after the signing of documents such as where a property is purchased off-the-plan or where settlement is awaiting the issue of a new title.

“In such cases, the current maximum period of two years for the payment of duty will be extended to three years from the date of execution.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“This better recognises that completion dates are sometimes delayed beyond two years, particularly in the case of off-the-plan transactions.”

The new transfer duty arrangements will apply to transactions executed from March 1 and are part of the State Government’s ongoing initiatives to reduce red tape for business and the community.

The Minister acknowledged the contribution of a range of industry organisations involved in the design of the new arrangements, including the Australian Institute of Conveyances (WA), the Law Society of Western Australia and the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

Mr. O’Brien encouraged settlement agents and other conveyances to register with the Office of State Revenue to take full advantage of the new ‘payment at settlement’ arrangements for their clients.