In a decision handed down on Mon 24.3.2014, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal affirmed a decision of the Commissioner to impose stamp duty on a document under s 58(2) of the Duties Act 1997 (NSW).

On 1 May 2013, the Commissioner assessed duty and imposed interest on a document signed by the taxpayer as “trustee” and a related entity as “beneficiary” (in its capacity as trustee of another fund). The Commissioner assessed the document with fixed duty of $500 in accordance with s 58(2) and imposed interest for late lodgment of the document for stamping.

The taxpayer submitted the document “was established so as to identify a set of rules that would apply in the event that any future declaration of trust, or trusts was or were entered into on the part of the named parties…”. The taxpayer argued the document did not declare a trust, nor did it establish a trust, therefore s 58(2) did not apply.

The Tribunal held the taxpayer had not discharged the onus of proving its case. Among other things, the Tribunal noted the taxpayer had not addressed “in any substantial manner the express wording of s 58(2) of the Duties Act… preferring instead to focus on the heading of s 58 and dealing with s 58(2) by implication having regard to the wording of s 58(1)”.

(LR Corrie Glen Pty Ltd v Chief Comr of State Revenue [2014] NSWCATAD 33, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Isenberg SM, 24 March 2014.)

[LTN 56, 24/3/14]