17 September 2021

Land Transfer Development – Duty Implications for Nominations

On 8 September 2021 the State Revenue Office issued ruling DA-064 which further clarifies the activities and actions which constitute ‘land development’ as defined by section 3(1) of the Duties Act 2000 (The Act).

The ruling is a long awaited clarification for those practising in this often complex and challenging area of the law.

The ruling further clarifies long-standing principles related to land nominations and resulting triggers of the sub-sale provisions under Part 4A of Chapter 2 of the Act.

It is vital for anyone wishing to purchase land or nominate an interest in land, (prior to the contracted settlement date), to be fully informed of the resulting stamp duty implications should land development occur prior to a nomination.

Should you or anyone you know require assistance in this area, they are welcome to contact our office for a confidential discussion.

Electronic Witnessing & Signing

The Justice Legislation Amendment (System Enhancements and Other Matters) Act 2021 (Vic) (the Act) came into force on 26 April 2021.

The Act amended various legislation to allow for the continued operation of processes and procedures which have been and continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Act allows for the remote witnessing and signing of certain documents in Victoria by way of audio-visual link, including: wills, powers of attorney and affidavits.

The Act does not apply to:

the appointment of a medical treatment decision-maker;

the making of an advance care directive; or

the certification of copies of original documents.

Although this legislation is now in force and is the law in Victoria, its practical use remains to be seen, given long-standing views in the legal industry which have traditionally favoured face-to-face meetings for the witnessing of documents such as wills and powers of attorney. Further, time-sensitive documents, such as wills, must be executed on the same day and within Victoria. This can add to the complexity of the transaction, particularly if parties are unable to meet these time constraints. Our office will always favour a traditional approach to the execution of these documents in accordance with best practice guidelines issued by the Law Institute of Victoria. 

Verification of identity conducted over videoconferencing and the electronic environment more generally, will continue to be an issue, given the prevalence of cyber security breaches within the community.

Our office will continue to monitor the trends in the community to see if this form of execution becomes more prevalent.

27 October 2020 
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