Policy and Legislation

We support a range of revenue management functions by developing practical solutions to complex policy problems and working closely with stakeholders.

Crafting of legislation involves Cabinet, the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and State Revenue Office policy experts. Once an Act is introduced into parliament we ensure we are ready to administer it as efficiently as possible for our customers.

From the time at which the law applies in Victoria, we begin administering any changes to the law, with an emphasis on implementing systems and processes to make it easier for our customers to comply.

We also liaise with inter-jurisdictional colleagues in the areas of harmonisation and collaboration, and manage our legislative responsibilities in relation to freedom of information, privacy, the Human Rights Charter and Ombudsman issues.

In 2017-18, notable legislative work included the introduction of the State Taxation Acts Further Amendment Act 2017. Amendments included to the:

  • Congestion Levy Act 2005 — expanding the area of exempt parking spaces around the Melbourne Zoo; better targeting a shift worker car park exemption so that only parking spaces reserved for and used solely by employees of a 24/7 enterprise, who are regularly rostered to work shifts, are exempt; and exempting parking spaces provided on land owned by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation.
  • Duties Act 2000 — confirming the legislative basis for charging foreign purchaser additional duty (FPAD) on dutiable transactions under which a land-related interest in residential property is transferred to a foreign purchaser and the transfer is otherwise chargeable with duty; and clarifying the application of the first home buyer duty concession calculation formula so it reflects the concessional amount of duty payable.
  • Land Tax Act 2005 — extending the current exemption from the Absentee Owner Surcharge (AOS) for Australian-based absentee corporations conducting a commercial operation in Australia, whose commercial activities make a significant contribution to the Victorian economy and community, to absentee trusts; and amending the AOS calculation on land held under a chain of trusts so that it is a truer reflection of the absentee beneficiaries’ interests in the land.
  • Payroll Tax Act 2007 — extending the exemption for wages paid to a new apprentice or trainee by an approved group training organisation to 'for-profit' organisations that are declared an approved group training organisation.
  • Taxation Administration Act 1997 — providing new provisions enabling future electronic services by the Commissioner.
  • Valuation of Land Act 1960 — providing for the Valuer-General Victoria to be the sole valuation authority of all lands in Victoria, with general valuations conducted annually from the beginning of 2019, with individual councils able to opt-out of the centralised system until 2022.

A number of administrative provisions were also amended within the Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012, the Unclaimed Money Act 2008 and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.

We will also be implementing the State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2018, which was introduced in 2017-18. Amendments include:

  • Duties Act 2000 — exempting Australian Defence Force personnel from the first home buyer duty exemption/concession residency requirement; aligning the young farmer duty exemption threshold with the first home buyer duty exemption threshold; and introducing an exemption from Foreign Purchaser Additional Duty for foreign purchasers jointly purchasing a principal place of residence with their spouse or domestic partner who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen holding a special category visa.
  • Payroll Tax Act 2007 — reducing the payroll tax rate from 3.65 per cent down to 2.425 per cent for eligible employers in regional Victoria.

A number of administrative and technical provisions were also amended within the Duties Act 2000 and the Unclaimed Money Act 2008.