In case you forgot in all the craziness and uncertainty of the past few months, changes to land tax come into effect on 30th June 2020 and many South Australians will be affected.
Revenue SA have recently begun the process by sending out letters to landholdings with both Companies and Individuals on their titles. Letters for Company’s appear to have been received by the Company either as ‘head of a Corporate group’ or as a single land holder.
The letters are an information gathering exercise to advise and confirm to Revenue SA:
- if an Individual or a Company owns land in its own right or as a trustee of a trust (including Self-Managed Superannuation Funds);
- if the landholder is a Company in its own right – to disclose if the Company is ‘grouped’ with any other Companies;
- if the land is held in the following trust structures:
- Unit Trust – If you wish to disclose the unit holders so the landholding can access the ‘general’ land tax rate;
- Discretionary Trust – If you wish to nominate a beneficiary, so the landholding can access the ‘general’ land tax rate rather than the potentially higher trust land rates;
- That all land has been included in your ownership (the ownership of the particular entity – not all of the land a client may hold via different entities);
- To add any land not included;
- To advise if land has been included incorrectly;
- 3rd June 2020 or 11th June 2020 (depending on your letter) – Revenue SA has requested the forms be completed by one of these dates, to allow sufficient time to request further information from your application;
- 31st July 2020 – is the final date to lodge the forms, assuming Revenue SA have been provided all relevant documentation and have no further questions regarding your holding otherwise penalties and interest may apply to your assessment;
- Early October 2020 – New land tax assessments to be issued;
- 30th June 2021 – last day to nominate a beneficiary for your discretionary trust and to advise of a unit trusts unitholders, if you want the general rate to apply for the 2020/21 & 2021/22 financial years;
- There are decisions that may need to be made, for example nominating beneficiaries for a discretionary trust and / or declaring the unit holders of a unit trust;
- These decisions can have long lasting financial and family succession implications;
Can you help me with the letter?
Of course! Please contact your usual i2 adviser to start the process.
i2 Advisory have a client portal to attend to any registrations on behalf of our clients. Please note if you have already registered online, we cannot transfer the application to the i2 Advisory login.
I think I have a handle on it and I want do the registration myself – So what do I need to do?
Please be aware that there are currently some functionality and stability issues with the Revenue SA portal. Some applications may not be able to be completed as the functionality for certain ownerships is not yet available or unclear as to how to complete. Hopefully these will be resolved soon.
Steps common to all ownership types
- The mail out instructs the landholder to create a login account and complete the required registration via Revenue SA online portal;
- Confirm client details and addresses;
- Confirm your landholdings and add any land holdings for the entity that may be missing;
Individuals or Company is trustee of a trust or SMSF
- For a Company – Advise that the Company landholder is holding the land as trustee of a trust/SMSF;
- For an Individual – Advise that the Individual landholder/s are holding the land as trustee of a trust/SMSF;
- Breathe deep as you may need to dive deep into the filing cabinet;
- Provide and upload evidence of the trust/SMSF’s ownership of land (see further details below);
- If ownership is in a discretionary trust and you wish to nominate a Beneficiary (see further details below);
- If ownership is in a unit trust and you wish to disclose the unit holders (this functionality does not appear to be complete on the Revenue SA portal as yet);
Evidence that the Trust or SMSF is the owner of the Property
You can provide either 1 or 2 below
- a copy of the Memorandum of Transfer showing the consideration was paid by the trust or on behalf of the trust
If you do not have the memorandum of transfer you can order a copy at https://sailis.lssa.com.au/home/auth/login or if you have a friendly conveyancer, ask them;
- a copy of the most recently completed and lodged Tax Return for the trust, clearly showing the land as an asset of the trust;
If you cannot access a copy of the memorandum of transfer or it does not disclose the consideration being paid by the trust’ or if your tax return does not disclose the relevant details, you MUST provide a minimum of 2 other types of evidence, which may include:
- Memorandum of Transfer for the purchase of the land, showing “with no survivorship” or “WNS”;
- Title showing “with no survivorship” or “WNS”;
- Signed Minutes of Trust Meeting (or similar), evidencing/discussing the purchase of the land on behalf of the trust;
- Balance Sheet of the Trust, showing the parcel of land as an asset of the trust;
- Settlement Statement for the purchase of the trust, showing the purchaser (you) as a trustee of the trust;
- Signed Contract of Sale for the purchase of the land, showing the purchaser (you) as trustee of the trust;
It is important that evidence:
- be provided for each parcel of land that is held on Trust; and
- clearly state the Trust name and either the property address or Certificate of Title reference;
Evidence of the existence of the Trust
- a copy of the original executed Deed of Trust in its entirety; and
- a copy of each Deed of Variation, where there have been variations or amendments made to the original Deed of Trust since its execution;
For a trust to access the general land tax rate rather than the higher trust surcharge rate, the trust must nominate a beneficiary.
The registration form has an option for nominating a beneficiary of the discretionary trust where the land was held prior to 16th October 2019. The reality is that you have some time to provide this information – until the 30th June 2021.
Our advice is not to rush this decision, as in the majority of cases this is a permanent and once only decision. The nominated beneficiaries must sign a statutory declaration that they agree to be nominated and understand the implications.
We suggest providing the requested information confirming the trusts ownership and existence and then seeking advice as to the implications of nominating a beneficiary. An application can be completed on this basis, with a separate application being completed at a later date nominating a beneficiary if this is applicable.
The landholder is an Individual in its own right
The landholder need only advise that the land is not held on trust and the contact details.
The landholder is a Company in its own right
For a company that holds land in its own right the process is less onerous than that of a trustee.
The Group Head is the corporation who will receive correspondence and Notices of Assessment from Revenue SA on behalf of the whole group of corporations. They are also responsible for updating and confirming the related corporations in Revenue SA Online. The corporation head has been determined as the most recently registered corporation that holds land in South Australia.
If you have received a letter as the nominated group head you can also:
- Nominate a different corporation to complete the review of the corporate group
- Confirm that all related corporations have been included in the corporate group
- Add any related corporations that have not been included
- Advise where Revenue SA have included corporations incorrectly
It is important that all related companies are included and that all land holdings have been disclosed in the registration process as penalties may apply.
Where can I find out more?
The above is our understanding as at 14th May 2020.
Further Information regarding the land tax rules and the registration process can be found at:
If you would like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to contact your i2 adviser.