Taxes, Duties & Rates
>> Stamp Duty
Stamp duty is a state tax on many types of documents such as agreements to purchase land, leases, mortgages, motor vehicles and insurance policies and also on transactions such as those which result in a change in the beneficial ownership of land.
There is no general exemption from stamp duty for documents executed or transactions entered into for or on behalf of a parochial unit or diocesan organisation. Accordingly, parochial units and diocesan organisations need to obtain specific advice on the consequences (if any) of executing documents or entering into transactions, particularly those of the type referred to in the previous paragraph. In some cases stamp duty, if payable, can run into many thousands of dollars.
While there is no general exemption, there are a number of specific exemptions which could apply in a particular situation.
An insurance policy taken out by or on behalf of a parochial unit is exempt. A certificate of exemption can be obtained on application in the prescribed form to the Office of State Revenue.
An exemption from the stamp duty otherwise payable on the registration of a motor vehicle is available if the applicant is a church. An application form (ODA 006) is available from the website of the Office of State Revenue. When completing the application, instead of attaching a copy of the organisation's Memo & Articles of association, the parish should include a simple statement along the following lines - 'The parish of ........... is a non-profit organisation that qualifies for exemption from duty on the purchase of motor vehicles as a religious institution. The parish is an unincorporated entity controlled by the Synod of the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney. Authority to make rules governing such entities has been given to the Synod under the NSW Government's Anglican Church of Australia Constitution Act 1961.'
On application the Commissioner of State Revenue will issue a letter confirming the parish or church's exemption, based on it being "a non-profit organisation having as one of its objects a charitable purpose".
See the SDS Motor Vehicle Purchasing Guide here (under "Other information") for more information on the process involved.
Further, section 275 of the Duties Act 1997 provides -
"Duty under this Act is not chargeable on a transfer, or an agreement for the sale or transfer, or a lease, of dutiable property to, or a declaration of trust over dutiable property held or to be held on trust for, or a mortgage given by or on behalf of -
(a) any society or institution for the time being approved by the Chief Commissioner for the purposes of this paragraph whose resources are, in accordance with its rules or objects, used wholly or predominantly for -
(i) the relief of poverty in Australia, or
(ii) the promotion of education in Australia, or
(b) any society or institution that, in the opinion of the Chief Commissioner, is of a charitable or benevolent nature, or has as its primary object the promotion of the interests of Aborigines and if the transfer, agreement or declaration of trust is for such purposes as the Chief Commissioner may approve in accordance with guidelines approved by the Treasurer.".
Updated 29 June 2010