Revenue NSW has issued Commissioner’s Practice Note CPN 025. It outlines the circumstances when certain transactions will or will not be dutiable and also aims to assist taxpayers and their representatives decide whether a transaction will be liable to duty. Where a transaction that results in a change in beneficial ownership is a dutiable transaction, duty is payable by the person who obtains the beneficial ownership or whose beneficial ownership is increased.
The expression “beneficial ownership” has a wide meaning and extends beyond merely equitable ownership. A person may obtain beneficial ownership if the capacity in which a person holds dutiable property changes (e.g., where a person who holds dutiable property other than as trustee starts to hold the dutiable property as trustee). Duty may also be payable where a person’s interest in a trust increases, including as a result of the surrender of another person’s interest in a trust (unless the increase results from an excluded transaction).