A significant component of our responsibility to our customers, and all Victorians, is working closely with stakeholders including the Department of Treasury and Finance, and the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, to assist in developing the legislation we administer and ensuring the successful implementation of legislative amendments.
Part of our role is developing practical solutions to complex policy problems.
Crafting of legislation involves Cabinet, the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and State Revenue Office policy experts. Once an Act has been passed by the parliament we ensure we are ready to administer it as efficiently as possible for our customers, with an emphasis on implementing systems and processes to make it easier for our customers to comply.
From the time at which the law applies in Victoria, we begin administering any changes to the law.
We also liaise with inter-jurisdictional colleagues in the areas of harmonisation and collaboration, and manage our statutory responsibilities in relation to freedom of information, privacy, the Charter of Human Rights and Ombudsman issues.
In 2018-19, notable legislative work included the remaking of the Unclaimed Money Regulations, the Gambling Regulation Amendment (Wagering and Betting) Act 2018 and the State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2019 in June, which brought a number of changes to duties, land tax, payroll tax and land valuations that were flagged in the 2019 Victorian Budget.
The amendments in the State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2019, most of which apply from 1 July 2019, included:
Duties Act 2000
- Increase in the foreign purchaser additional duty rate from 7% to 8%.
- Concession for land transfer duty for transfers of commercial and industrial properties in regional Victoria.
- Increases in motor vehicle duty rates on passenger vehicles valued above $100,000, with concessions for ‘green’ and ‘primary producer’ passenger vehicles.
- An exemption from motor vehicle duty for service demonstrator vehicles.
- Expansion of the corporate reconstruction duty provisions and the exemption replaced with a concessional rate.
There were also three non-budget amendments that came into force from 19 June 2019:
- A threshold value test to ensure that the acquisition of insignificant fixtures, such as part of the sale of a small retail business, will not be subject to duty. Duty is phased-in so that a concession applies for fixtures valued between $2 million and $3 million, with full duty only payable where the fixture is more than $3 million in value.
- Removal of a restriction preventing a unit trust scheme that was, at any time, eligible for registration as a wholesale unit trust scheme, from being a public unit trust scheme for landholder duty purposes.
- Changes to the imposition of land transfer duty on the acquisition of economic entitlements.
Land Tax Act 2005
- Principal place of residence land tax exemption for contiguous land limited to properties in regional Victoria (for the 2020 land tax year).
- Increase in the absentee owner surcharge rate from 1.5% to 2% (for 2020 land tax year).
Payroll Tax Act 2007
- Exemption for wages paid to employees on maternity leave expanded to all types of parental leave.
- Increase in wage threshold to $700,000 by 2022-23, with increases of $25,000 in 2021-22 and again in 2022-23.
- Progressive reduction in the regional payroll tax rate to 1.2125% from the 2020-21 to 2022-23 financial years.
- Amendment to the definition of regional employer by removing the business location test.
Valuation of Land Act 1960
- Simplified methodology for determining the site value of buildings listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The Gambling Regulation Amendment (Wagering and Betting) Act 2018 amended the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and Taxation Administration Act 1997 to replace the previous Victorian wagering and betting tax structures with a point of consumption wagering and betting tax applying to all betting activity by consumers in Victoria, regardless of the location of the operator.
The Gambling Regulation Act 2003, a taxation law for the purposes of the Taxation Administration Act 1997, provides the Commissioner of State Revenue with sole responsibility for collecting, administering and enforcing the tax from 1 January 2019.