The NSW Court of Appeal has affirmed the Commissioner’s decision denying a taxpayer the principal place of residence (PPR) land tax exemption for the 2004 to 2009 land tax years (inclusive).

The taxpayer became the owner of the subject property in 2002.

  • Located on the property was a 3-bedroom house and a free-standing corrugated iron “building”.
  • The house was leased to tenants between 2002 to around August 2007 and had not been occupied since. The last tenant vacated the house in August 2007.
  • In July 2007, a fire destroyed the corrugated iron “building”.
  • The taxpayer claimed the corrugated iron “building” was a “non attached 2 bedroom unit” and that was her residence.

However, the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal, at first instance, was not satisfied that the taxpayer had abandoned another property to have established the subject property to be her principal place of residence. The taxpayer was also unsuccessful in her appeal to the Appeal Panel of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal. The Appeal Panel affirmed the Tribunal’s decision and held the taxpayer was not entitled to the PPR exemption. It also ordered that the taxpayer pay the Commissioner’s costs for that appeal.

The Court of Appeal held that if it be necessary, leave to appeal from the costs decision of the Appeal Panel should be granted. However, it held that the appeal should be dismissed with costs.

(Haddad v Chief Comr of State Revenue [2014] NSWCA 23, NSW Court of Appeal, Macfarlan JA, Ward JA, Leeming JA, 21 February 2014.)

[LTN 36, 24/2/14]