Placer Dome Inc -v- Commissioner of State Revenue  WASCA 165
How to approach a valuation of the land interests held in a landholder has always been an area of contention between what the client and practitioners believe is an appropriate valuation of land (and chattel) interests and that to which the Commissioner believes is the correct approach. In a very general sense the Commissioner has ordinarily adopted a “top down” approach. This approach in our view does not take into account the many external elements or synergies associated with an acquisition of shares in a going concern company or entity.
The recent case Placer Dome Inc -v- Commissioner of State Revenue  WASCA 165 determined that a top down approach, whilst may be appropriate in some circumstances, should not be used as a basis for valuing the land interests if the going concern elements cannot be identified and removed.
Whilst the Placer Dome case related to the acquisition of shares under the previous Stamp Act 1921, its principles should be a guide under the Duties Act 2008 and in relation to any matter where there is an acquisition and valuation of land interests (for example acquiring a minority interest in a joint venture).