The Queensland government has announced it is shelving its plans to change the land tax liability rules to include the value of interstate land owned by investors. The proposed reforms were explained in our recent article.
After the reforms were first announced, it became apparent the government would have difficulty enforcing the changes with public statements made by the premiers of New South Wales, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory confirming they would not provide landholding records to verify an investor’s interstate landholdings.
Although the government has only announced the proposed changes have been shelved (and could be reinstated in the future), while the other states maintain this position it is unlikely these reforms will be revived any time soon.
This announcement comes as a positive for both landowners, removing an extra layer of complexity and providing more certainty around future estimates of land tax liability, as well as tenants, who presumably would have borne the costs of the increased land tax via higher rents or collection of outgoings.
Despite this positive outcome, the proposed reforms re-enforce the importance of ownership structuring in relation to land (both intra and interstate) to minimise land tax liability both now and in the event of possible future policy changes.
Our Real Estate lawyers can answer your questions about ownership arrangements for both existing and proposed new land investments.