Stamp Duty on Transfer of Units in a Unit Trust

Please see Information Circular 75 for details of changes to stamp duty announced in the State Budget 2015-16.


Stamp duty was abolished on the transfer of non-real property from 18 June 2015.  If a unit trust that is not quoted on a recognised Stock Exchange owns real property (land) in South Australia, the transfer of units is liable to stamp duty based on the value of the land in South Australia less any outstanding loan amount against the land.

The rate of stamp duty charged is described in the table at the bottom of this page.

A transfer of units in a unit trust that is not quoted on a recognised Stock Exchange and does not own land in South Australia and entered into from 18 June 2015 is not liable to duty and is not required to be stamped.

What is required? (Land owning unit trust)

The transfer document must be stamped. If no transfer document exists, the Unit Register can be stamped.

The types of unit transfers listed below can be stamped by an authorised RevNet user via RevNet (if you are not an authorised RevNet user contact RevenueSA for more information). All of these unit transfers are exempt from stamp duty:

  • Further issue - pro rata
  • In Specie Distribution
  • Pursuant to a Will or Intestacy
  • Redemption - Pro Rata
  • Trustee to Trustee

You can refer to the Stamp Duty Document Guide for more detailed notes on these document types.

All other transfers of units in a land owning unit trust are required to be presented to RevenueSA to have the appropriate stamp duty determined. The unit transfer must be submitted with a completed Opinion form, which can be obtained by RevenueSA, together with:

  • a copy of any valuation of the units made in connection with the transfer. Refer to Circular No 166; or
  • a certified Balance Sheet and detailed Profit and Loss Statements for the previous three years;
  • any liability directly related to the land owned by the unit trust;
  • evidence of the current market value of the land; and
  • if different classes of units have been issued, the rights of each class must be fully stated and a copy of the Trust Deed must be produced.

If the unit trust holds land in South Australia with a market value of $1 million or greater, the landholder provisions may apply.  See the Land Holder Guide to Legislation for further information.

Rate of Stamp Duty

Stamp duty on the transfer, either by way sale or gift, of units not quoted on a recognised stock exchange are charged as follows:

Where value of the property conveyedAmount of Duty
Does not exceed $12,000$1.00 for every $100 or part of $100
Exceeds $12,000 but not $30,000$120 plus $2.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $12,000
Exceeds $30,000 but not $50,000$480 plus $3.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $30,000
Exceeds $50,000 but not $100,000$1,080 plus $3.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $50,000
Exceeds $100,000 but not $200,000$2,830 plus $4.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $100,000
Exceeds $200,000 but not $250,000$6,830 plus $4.25 for every $100 or part of $100 over $200,000
Exceeds $250,000 but not $300,000$8,955 plus $4.75 for every $100 or part of $100 over $250,000
Exceeds $300,000 but not $500,000$11,330 plus $5.00 for every $100 or part of $100 over $300,000
Exceeds $500,000 $21,330 plus $5.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $500,000

On-line calculator

Download the rates chart

Qualifying Land (reduction/abolition of stamp duty)

Stamp duty on non-residential, non-primary production land ("Qualifying Land") is being phased out. From 7 December 2015 the duty payable was reduced by one-third, with a further one-third reduction from 1 July 2017 (a total reduction of two-thirds). Stamp duty on transfers of non-residential, non-primary production land will be abolished from 1 July 2018.

If the unit trust owns Qualifying Land, the above will apply.

What is Qualifying Land?

Qualifying land means land that is being used other than for residential purposes or for primary production as defined in Section 71DC of the Stamp Duties Act 1923.

The Commissioner will generally rely on land use codes to determine whether he considers land to be residential or primary production land. The land use codes within the following Land Use Code (LUC) headings will be taken to be qualifying land:

  • Commercial (LUC 2000-2990)
  • Industrial (LUC 3100-3909)
  • Vacant Land (with some exceptions) (LUC 4110-4600)
  • Institutions (LUC 5100-5990)
  • Public Utilities (LUC 6100-6990)
  • Recreation (LUC 7100-7900)
  • Mining and Quarrying (LUC 8100-8409)

Stamp duty on transfers of residential and primary production land will remain unchanged. Vacant land will be considered to be used for primary production or residential purposes in certain circumstances.


What is land used for Residential Purposes?

Land will be taken to be used for residential purposes where it is determined that:

  • it is being predominantly used for that purpose;
  • although the land is not being used for any particular purpose at the relevant time the land should be taken to be used for residential purposes due to improvements that are residential in character having been made to the land; or
  • the land is vacant, or vacant with only minor improvements, the land is within a zone established by a Development Plan under the Development Act 1993 that envisages the use, or potential use, of the land as residential, and the land should be taken to be used for residential purposes due to that zoning (subject to the qualification that if the zoning of the land indicates that the land could, in a manner consistent with the Development Plan, be used for some other purpose (other than for primary production) then the vacant land will not be taken to be used for residential purposes).

In some cases the zoning of the land will be relevant where the land is unimproved or there are only minor improvements.

A further exception is in relation to land which although coded as residential by the Valuer-General will nevertheless be considered by the Commissioner to be commercial in nature.

This treatment will be consistent with the Local Government zoning of the land. Land uses that fall into this category are Hostels, Hotels, Motels, Serviced Apartments and short term unit accommodation.


What is land used for Primary Production?

Land will be taken to be used for primary production purposes where it is determined that:

  • it is being predominantly used for primary production purposes; or
  • although the land is not being used at the relevant time the land should be taken to be used for primary production purposes due to a classification that has been assigned to the land by the Valuer-General.

The land use codes within the following LUC headings are not considered to be qualifying land:

  • Residential (with some exceptions) (LUC 1100-1999)
  • Primary Production (LUC 9100-9990)
  • Vacant Land - Urban (LUC 4100)
  • Vacant Land with minor improvements - Urban (LUC 4101)
  • Vacant Land - rural residential (LUC 4150)
  • Vacant Land with minor improvements - Rural Living (LUC 4151)