Stamp Duty on Transfer of Units in a Unit Trust

Stamp duty was abolished on the transfer of non-real property from 18 June 2015. See Information Circular 75 for further details.

From 1 July 2018, no liability to duty arises in relation to a conveyance or transfer of an interest in non-residential and non-primary production land (“qualifying land”) executed on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the conveyance or transfer of an interest not arising from a contract of sale or other transaction entered into before 1 July 2018).

Qualifying land means land that is being used other than for residential purposes or for primary production.

Accordingly, only conveyances or transfers of an interest in residential and primary production land remain liable to duty. Further information regarding qualifying land (and the phased reduction of the rates applicable to qualifying land from 7 December 2015 to 30 June 2018) is available in Information Circular 86.

From 1 July 2018, if a unit trust scheme holds either residential or primary production land in South Australia, the transfer of units in the unit trust scheme is liable to landholder duty under Part 4 of the Stamp Duties Act 1923. Further information regarding landholder duty is available on our Land Holder page and in the Stamp Duty Land Holder Guide to Legislation.

From 1 July 2018, a transfer of units in a unit trust scheme 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.

Stamp Duty on Transfer of Units in a Unit Trust pre 1 July 2018

The transfer of units in a unit trust prior to 1 July 2018 that is not quoted on a recognised stock exchange and that owned real property (land) in South Australia was liable to stamp duty, based on the value of the land in South Australia less any outstanding loan amount against the land.

What is required? (Land owning unit trust)

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

All 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 lodged for Opinion through RevenueSA Online or submitted with a completed Application for Stamp Duty Assessment, 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.