A significant component of our responsibility to our customers, and all Victorians, is working closely with stakeholders including the Department of Treasury and Finance, and the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, to assist in developing the legislation we administer and ensuring the successful implementation of legislative amendments.
Part of our role is developing practical solutions to complex policy problems.
Crafting of legislation involves Cabinet, the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and State Revenue Office policy experts. Once an Act has been passed by the Parliament we ensure we are ready to administer it as efficiently as possible for our customers, with an emphasis on implementing systems and processes to make it easier for our customers to comply.
From the time at which the law applies in Victoria, we begin administering any changes to the law.
We also liaise with inter-jurisdictional colleagues in the areas of harmonisation and collaboration, and manage our statutory responsibilities in relation to freedom of information, privacy, the Charter of Human Rights and Ombudsman issues.
In 2019-20, notable legislative work included the State Taxation Acts Further Amendment Act 2019 in October 2019, which introduced changes to duty, land tax, gambling and valuation laws, and the State Taxation Acts Amendment (Relief Measures) Act 2020 in April 2020, which gave effect to measures associated with taxation relief.
The amendments in the State Taxation Acts Further Amendment Act 2019 included:
Duties Act 2000
- Confirmed the legislative basis for charging insurance duty when an insured person obtains insurance from an overseas insurer.
- Aligned the primary production requirements for the young farmer duty concession and exemption, with changes made to the primary production land tax exemption.
Gambling Regulation Act 2003
- Legislated an annual payment from wagering and betting tax revenue to the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund.
- Changed the payment from wagering and betting tax to the Victorian racing industry from being determined on a cash basis to being determined on an accrual basis.
Land Tax Act 2005
- Reformed the primary production exemption for land in urban zones of greater Melbourne, strengthening the connection required, between the landowner, business of primary production and the land, for the exemption to apply.
- Excluded beneficiaries of implied and constructive trusts as owners of land for land tax exemption purposes.
- Extended the application of vacant residential land tax to residential properties that have remained uninhabitable for more than two years, and addressed various minor administrative issues in the vacant residential land tax provisions.
Valuation of Land Act 1960
- Legislated a deadline of 30 September each year by which rating authorities must issue their valuation notices to ratepayers.
The amendments in the State Taxation Acts Amendment (Relief Measures Act) 2020 included:
Duties Act 2000
- Brought forward the previously announced and legislated 50% land transfer duty concession for transfers of commercial and industrial land, for transfers of property in bushfire affected local government areas. The 50% concession was effective for transfers where the contract was entered into on or after 27 January 2020.
First Home Owner Grant Act 2000
- Extended the increased First Home Owner Grant of $20,000 for first home buyers in regional Victoria by a further year for contracts entered into until 30 June 2021.
Payroll Tax Act 2007
- Brought forward the previously announced and legislated payroll tax rate reduction for regional employers based in bushfire affected local government areas. Payroll tax applied at a reduced rate of 1.2125%, effective from 1 July 2019.
Taxation Administration Act 1997
- Established the statutory authority for the Commissioner to give effect to emergency tax relief measures at the direction of the Treasurer, as announced by the Victorian Government. Emergency tax relief measures include the ability to defer, waive or refund a tax liability in full or in part.