State Taxes: Stamp Duties and Property


Not for some time has South Australia seen such a dynamic taxation climate.

The re-write of the Stamp Duties Act 1923 is formally underway and a draft Bill is imminent.

The proposed amendments to land tax aggregation currently being put together by Treasury are likely to be game changing for large landholding groups.

Restructuring for clients may not only be desirable but a necessity for survival.

At the upcoming 2019 SA Property Day, Lee Jurga, formerly of RevenueSA, will look at the fresh challenges your clients may face as a result.

We spoke to him for this post.

“As part of the Organising Committee for this year’s Property Day it was an easy choice to present the State Taxes Update - I only recently departed RevenueSA after eight years!

It’s both the perfect time and a horrible time to present on the topic given the dynamic environment of state taxes.

Whilst the content can be fresh and dare I say exciting, it is all conceptual at this point given the little information available on the stamp duty rewrite and the land tax Budget measures” he said.

“I’m hoping to provide the most up to date information on the impending changes to stamp duty and land tax. As mentioned, I am a bit at the whim of the Revenue Office as to what information will be available by the time the presentation and paper are finalised.

I am expecting to present many examples of land holding structures and the effects the proposed land tax aggregation provisions will have. I also hope to be able to highlight any policy changes or legislative clarification arising under the stamp duty rewrite.

Where the relevant Bills are yet to be released, the presentation will be more conceptual in nature by leveraging off other jurisdictions as to what can be expected.

I fear I could be scrambling should RevenueSA release draft legislation the day before the paper and presentation are due.”

Asked about some of the blind spots in this area, Lee told us “Compared to the ATO, RevenueSA doesn’t have the resources to outline their position on all the contentious areas of state taxes. They also don’t issue private rulings or binding opinions (although general stamp duty opinions are available).

So I think the blind spots are merely the lack of guidance you can obtain from RevenueSA and also the inner workings of the Office from an administration perspective. Much of the time the issue a taxpayer may face is more a lack of understanding of how RevenueSA administers the tax, not as to how they interpret the legislation.

Given my recent background and experience in RevenueSA, delegates may expect to receive some insights not generally provided by other presenters from the private sector.”

Lee is a Senior Taxation Specialist in the Tax Consulting Team at Perks in Adelaide.
Lee Jurga


He has over 12 years of both private and public experience advising on State and Federal taxation issues and has recently returned to private practice after eight years at RevenueSA.

“I started my tax career in 2007 with a big four accounting firm before moving to a large Adelaide based law firm in 2008. I then started a role in RevenueSA’s Legislative Services team in 2010 and undertook a number of roles within that office over the years. Prior to leaving and starting at Perks in January this year, I was tasked with getting the stamp duty re-write off the ground. As a result, I like to think that I have diverse experiences in tax from both sides of the fence.”

Lee has been a member of The Tax Institute since 2008.

“I’ve been working in tax since 2007 and became a member of the Institute in 2008. When starting my career I didn’t have a sense of how valuable an industry body could be with respect to continual learning and development and networking. I’ve enjoyed attending conferences run by The Tax Institute over the years and the comradery it helps create amongst the tax professionals in SA.”

“I am expecting to present many examples in my session of land holding structures and the effects the proposed land tax aggregation provisions will have. I also hope to be able to highlight any policy changes or legislative clarification arising under the stamp duty rewrite.

Where the relevant Bills are yet to be released, the presentation will be more conceptual in nature by leveraging off other jurisdictions as to what can be expected.”

Part of the 2019 Property Day Series, the
 SA Property Day takes place 6 September at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Find out more about Lee’s session, and the rest of the program on our website.

Find out more about the Property Day Series, also coming to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, 27 August - 18 September 2019.

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