Stamp Duty Changes to Make Estate Planning Harder

One of the benefits that we previously had in Victoria was that spouses did not pay stamp duty on land transfers between them, whether it was their principle place of residence or an investment property, or any other restructure of properties between them. This was really important to be able to change land holdings between spouses for the purposes of asset protection and estate planning.

But with the new budget announcements, the Victorian State government has made known that a new measure will apply from 1 July 2017. There will no longer be an exemption on stamp duty on land transfers between spouses. The exemption will only apply for spouses when transferring their principal place of residence, or on any land transfers on a relationship breakdown, but not on any other property under any other exemptions.

stamp dutyAt this stage, the State government is not touching the exemptions on family farm transfers, so this exemption may still be utilised for some estate planning and asset protection arrangements that might have to occur. But generally, the changes will make estate planning and rearranging assets more difficult, or too expensive to achieve the best outcomes in some circumstances.

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