Stamp duty aggregation provisions are anti-avoidance measures designed to stop the splitting of dutiable transactions in separate parts to take advantage of the sliding scale on which duty is assessed.
The practical effect of aggregation is that uses imposed on the total consideration payable for all land purchased are part of the same agreement.
Nominee arrangements in property development generally take one of three forms.
- An apparent purchaser receiving funds from the actual purchaser to purchase the land on the actual purchaser’s behalf and purchaser is not revealed to the end of the land. Can this be taken in this instance to create a document trail to support the arrangements and an application for nominal or exempt stamping between the real and apparent purchaser if the property is later transferred from the apparent purchaser to the real purchaser.
- The purchaser directing a vendor to transfer land to the purchaser’s nominee was often a related party. The law is unclear with these types of transactions. Unless the nominee arrangement is properly documented from the start, the transfer will attract double duty.
- Where a land owner transfers plans for a nominee to hold on their behalf. This usually qualifies for stamp duty relief if it gives rise to a bare trust.
In some jurisdictions know-how or intellectual property can be classed as dutiable. In these jurisdictions the Duties Act takes a broader approach and duty can attach to business names, domain names, trademarks, patents, copyright, plant breeder rights, circuit layout rights, manuals, procedures and the right to use property.
It is important to note that even if intellectual property or know-how is classed as dutiable property it will not be dutiable unless it is transferred with another type of dutiable property such as land. This is not the case in the Northern Territory.
If you would like any more information on Stamp Duty feel free to contact me atTayla@gpla.com.au.