Is "Information" now dutiable property? - Proposed legislation

5.11.2014
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Taxation Legislation Amendment Bill (NO. 2) 2014

Significant amendments are before parliament in relation to the way the Commissioner is to treat information when assessing duty on property, in particular mining tenements.

The Explanatory amendments (reflecting the Commissioner’s approach) says:

“Finally, taxpayers continue to attempt to shift value away from dutiable property, such
as land and chattels, to other assets that do not attract duty.
These situations most commonly occur in relation to transfers of interests in mining
companies, where attempts to minimise the value of dutiable mining tenements are
made by arguing that significant portions of a transaction’s value should be attributed
to items such as mining information.
While the Duties Act already contains provisions that address how information should
be treated, it continues to be necessary to counter arguments from taxpayers and their
representatives that significant values should be attributed to information.
The Bill seeks to improve the operation of the valuation provisions of the Duties Act by
clarifying that, when valuing dutiable property, information relating to the property is to
be regarded as an attribute of the property and not a separate item to which an
independent value can be ascribed.”

As a practitioner it is evident that this area is not as clear cut and is demonstrated by the Commissioner introducing yet again new legislation around this area.

It also includes other minor amendments to the landholder provisions.

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