Queensland Land Tax Relief

Relief Measures

Land tax relief measures have been announced by the Queensland Government in light of the ongoing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on properties in Queensland.  Eligible landowners may be entitled to one or more of the following relief measures:

  • a land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-2020 assessment year;
  • a waiver of 2% land tax surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019-2020 assessment year;
  • a three (3) month deferral on land tax liabilities for the 2019-2020 assessment year.

Eligibility

A landowner will be eligible and can apply for the land tax rebate if part or all of their properties are either leased or available for lease and the following criteria applies:

Where properties are currently leased:

  • The ability of one or more tenants to pay their normal rent is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic;
  • The landowner will allow rent relief to the effected tenant(s) of an amount proportionate with the land tax rebate; and
  • The landowner will comply with the leasing principles.

Where a property is vacant but available for lease:

  • The landowner’s ability to secure tenants has been affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic;
  • The landowner requires relief to meet their financial obligations; and
  • The landowner will comply with the leasing principles.

Landowners need to bear in mind that the land tax rebate will only apply to particular properties that meet the above eligibility requirements and conditions.  This means it might not apply to the landowner’s entire portfolio of taxable landholdings.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office to find out more about land tax relief and whether you as a landowner will be eligible to apply for same by contacting one of our local experts today on (07) 4963 2000 or via on our online contact form below.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property Law

Seek advice if you require
more information or assistance.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
and Business Contracts

There has been unprecedented disruption to our lives and businesses due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  There has already been significant disruptions to the supply chain with the cancellation of conferences, sporting events, travel and restrictions on movements.  Each day the restrictions are broadening and businesses are suffering further interruptions to their operations with the most recent restrictions resulting in some businesses being unable to open their doors.

Some of the questions on everyone’s minds are:

  • How will this affect my personal life?
  • How will this affect my business?
  • What about my obligations pursuant to my business contracts?

Thousands of businesses are currently facing serious contractual issues and will need to consider whether they can suspend or terminate their business contracts due to the impacts of COVID-19.  Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges that businesses and households are currently facing.  The existing or future contractual rights and obligations of each business will depend on the terms of their business contract and their specific circumstances.

Due to legal uncertainty of COVID-19 on performance of contractual obligations we strongly recommend that you seek our expert advice, before proceeding or refusing to perform your contractual obligations, to determine your rights and obligations.  If you would like further information or assistance, including but not limited to legal analysis of your contract and potential impact of COVID-19, please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property Law

Seek advice if you require
more information or assistance.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
Read More
cane farm with mountains in the background

Buying or Selling
Rural Property

It was not so many years ago that a handshake out in the paddock was all that was needed to buy and sell a farm or other rural property.  The sale of a farm today is a much more complex process with many different issues to consider and deal with.  A contract between the parties is required to ensure every “I” is dotted and “T” is crossed.

At a minimum, the following should be discussed and included in your contract:

  • What is included?  Is the current cattle/crop part of the sale or to be retained by the seller?  What plant and equipment is being sold?
  • Any and all encumbrances on the land are disclosed including easements, covenants, sugar industry access rights and road licences.
  • Any water licences attached to the land or water allocations which are included in the sale.
  • Details of Cane Supply Agreements and/or forward selling obligations.

It is also important to ensure that the buyer and seller have discussed their GST obligations with their accountants and that the contract correctly reflects the parties obligations with respect to same.

We strongly recommend that if you are considering the sale or purchase of a farm or other rural property in Queensland that you seek our expert advice before signing a contract.  If you would like further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property

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4 waste disposal units

New Waste Disposal Levy

The Queensland Government has announced that it is developing a new waste management and resource strategy to increase recycling, recovery and to create new jobs by introducing the “waste disposal levy”.

When does the waste disposal levy commence?

The amendments to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2001 (Qld) (“the Act”) which introduced the waste disposal levy commenced on 1 July 2019.

What does the waste disposal levy mean to households?

The Queensland Government has announced that they are committed to ensuring the introduction of the levy will not have a direct impact on households and the levy will not apply to wheelie bin waste or self hauled residential waste.

What does the waste disposal levy mean for businesses?

The commencement of the waste disposal levy will create additional operational expenses for businesses who regularly dispose of waste.  Those businesses should consider reassessing their waste management policies (by reducing waste generation and recycling as much as possible) to prepare for the impact the levy may have on their cost of operation.

Where in Queensland will the waste disposal levy apply?

The waste disposal levy will be imposed in designated levy zones which include 38 out of 77 local councils within Queensland including the Mackay Regional Council area.    All waste disposal sites in the levy zone will need to install a weighbridge within five years.  The Act provides that the waste disposal levy will be payable if:

  • The waste is generated in a levy zone in Queensland regardless of whether the disposal occurs in a levy zone or in a non-levy zone.
  • The waste is generated in a non-levy zone and is disposed in a levy zone.

How much is the waste disposal levy?

The levies are as follows (with the expectation that the waste levy for all classifications will increase by $5.00 on 1 July each year):

Waste ClassificationLevy rate(per tonne)
General Waste (construction and demolition waste, commercial and industrial waste and municipal solid waste)
The Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that commercial and industrial waste includes waste containing arsenic, lead, pesticides, sewerage and oils among other things.
$75.00
Category 1 Regulated WasteThe Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that category 1 regulated waste includes boron compounds, copper compounds, ethers, fly ash among other things.$155.00
Category 2 Regulated WasteThe Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that category 2 regulated waste includes asbestos, grease trap waste, acidic solutions. lead acid batteries (intact) among other things.$105.00

Is some waste exempt from the waste disposal levy?

The Act provides that some waste will be exempt from the waste disposal levy including:

  • Waste resulting from a serious local event, declared as a disaster such as a cyclone, bushfire or flood;
  • Certain types of lawful, managed and transported asbestos waste;
  • Litter and illegally dumped waste collected by the government, council and plantation licensees;
  • Waste required for landfill operations including daily cover;
  • Waste received as a part of donations or what have been left in and around recycling charity donation bins and stores;
  • Litter and illegally dumped waste which is collected as part of an activity such as Clean Up Australia Day;
  • Transitional exemptions for existing recycling and recovery facilities; and
  • Discounts for new or existing recycling facilities which contribute to Queensland’s self sufficient and waste producing.

If you operate a business that regularly disposes of waste and would like further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today to discuss the impact these legislative changes may have and whether any exemptions are applicable on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
and Business Contracts

There has been unprecedented disruption to our lives and businesses due to COVID-19 with some businesses being unable to open their doors.

Buying or Selling
Rural Property

The sale of a farm or rural property is a complex process and it is important to ensure that both the buyer and seller have considered all aspects involved.

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Certificate of Title

Certificates of Title
made redundant

What is a Certificate of Title?

A Certificate of Title (also known as a Title Deed) is an official document which evidences details of land ownership.

Traditionally, when purchasing a property you would receive a physical paper Certificate of Title of the said property as evidence of your ownership of the property.  You could not deal with the property (i.e. sell or register a mortgage against it) unless you lodged the paper Certificate of Title with the transaction in relation to the property.  As we move to a more digital world we have slowly moved away from paper Certificates of Title.  Only about 11% of titles still have a paper Certificate of Title in Queensland.

When is a paper Certificate of Title no longer valid?

On 26 March 2019,  a bill was passed in parliament amending the Land Title Act 1994.  The effect of the amendment being that from 1 October 2019, paper Certificates of Title will become an item of historic or sentimental value only and will no longer have any legal effect.  As a result they will not need to be deposited with the Titles Registry when a transaction is lodged in relation to a property.

As from 1 October 2019:

  • There will be no requirement to dispose of existing paper Certificates of Title;
  • Certificates of Title will not need to be destroyed or brought into the Titles Registry;
  • Certificates of Title will not need to be dispensed with for a transaction in relation to a property to proceed.

If you have a paper Certificate of Title and would like further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts to discuss the impact these legislative changes may have on you.  Please contact us on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.  We will be more than happy to assist.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Residential Conveyancing

Other Articles

Queensland Land Tax Relief

Land tax relief measures have been announced by the Queensland Government in light of the ongoing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on properties in Queensland.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
and Business Contracts

There has been unprecedented disruption to our lives and businesses due to COVID-19 with some businesses being unable to open their doors.

Buying or Selling
Rural Property

The sale of a farm or rural property is a complex process and it is important to ensure that both the buyer and seller have considered all aspects involved.

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family packing to move house

Buying or Selling Property
in Queensland

Buying or selling property is often one of the biggest decisions that most people will make during their lifetime as it often involves large sums of money.  The process of transferring ownership of property from the seller to the buyer is called conveyancing.

Understanding the Contract

The most common form of contract used when buying or selling property in Queensland is the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Standard Contract.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to enter into a contract to purchase or sell property without understanding all the implications and risks involved.  It is not uncommon for the seller and/or buyer to be unaware of the following:

  • time is expressly of the essence under REIQ contracts in Queensland which means that the buyer and seller must perform their respective obligations strictly by the due date and time.  Failure by either the seller or the buyer to perform, unless an extension has been granted, will be a breach of an essential term of the contract and will entitle the other party to sue for specific performance or terminate the contract without further notice.
  • the property is at risk of the buyer from 5pm on the next business day after they sign the contract even though the buyer is not in possession of the property and the seller might still be residing at the property.  The seller does have an obligation until settlement to take reasonable care of the property, however, it is the buyer’s responsibility to obtain insurance effectively as soon as they have signed the contract.

Getting Advice

Whilst it is easy to fall prey to the many conveyancing pitfalls and misunderstandings that exist, with the assistance of experienced solicitors and conveyancing clerks, we can help guide you through the process from preparing the contract, reviewing the contract and advising you on the legal implications and risks involved.

We strongly recommend that if you are considering buying or selling property in Queensland that you seek our expert advice before signing the contract.  If you would like further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Residential Conveyancing

Other Articles

Queensland Land Tax Relief

Land tax relief measures have been announced by the Queensland Government in light of the ongoing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on properties in Queensland.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
and Business Contracts

There has been unprecedented disruption to our lives and businesses due to COVID-19 with some businesses being unable to open their doors.

Buying or Selling
Rural Property

The sale of a farm or rural property is a complex process and it is important to ensure that both the buyer and seller have considered all aspects involved.

Read More
Elderly couple preparing a testamentary trust Will

Why use a Testamentary
Trust

Under a standard Will, the Will-maker generally leaves their estate directly to individuals, that is, usually their spouse (if their spouse survives them) and then ultimately to their children.  However, if after the Will-maker’s estate is administered and those individuals subsequently divorce or suffer financial misfortune then the Will-maker’s hard earned assets may be at risk.

A Testamentary Trust is created by a Will and only comes into effect on the death of the Will-maker.  Preparing a Will which incorporates Testamentary Trusts ensures that:

  • the Will-maker’s hard earned assets are protected from their children’s misadventures after the Will-maker passes away, such as divorce or bankruptcy;
  • income may be distributed to a broader range of beneficiaries;
  • the beneficiaries can utilise the taxation advantages available which makes them an effective estate planning tool.

Benefits of a Testamentary Trust?

There are two main advantages for preparing a Will which incorporates Testamentary Trusts – Asset Protection and Taxation Benefits.

Asset Protection

Well drafted Wills incorporating Testamentary Trusts can:

  • ensure that assets held in the trust are separate from assets personally owned by the beneficiaries.  Therefore, in the event of a relationship breakdown, the assets held in the Testamentary Trust earmarked for the Will-maker’s children may be held separate from the assets of the relationship.  While asset protection cannot be guaranteed there is a higher level of protection than that provided to absolute gifts made by way of a standard Will.
  • be structured so to limit the control a certain beneficiary has over the asset which can protect against irresponsible use or early sale of the asset while allowing the beneficiaries to enjoy the use or income of the asset.
  • help to protect the Will-maker’s estate from creditors of beneficiaries if a beneficiary becomes bankrupt due to business misadventures after the Will-maker passes away.

Tax Benefits

Testamentary Trusts allow the beneficiaries to take advantage of the available income tax benefits by providing that:

  • all beneficiaries including minor children receive the tax free threshold;
  • distributions can be made from the trust, not just to the primary beneficiary but to other potential beneficiaries (including perhaps primary beneficiaries’ spouse, child or sibling).  This may be attractive as it allows potential beneficiaries to take advantage of lower income tax bracket thresholds that potential beneficiaries may have.

A properly prepared estate plan is essential to ensure that your hard earned assets are protected for your family members, both during your lifetime and after you pass away.  If you would like further information and assistance with the preparation of your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property

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A Binding Death Benefit Nomination ensures that your superannuation benefit goes to the person nominated by you upon your death.  

De facto Relationships
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Amendments to the Succession Act 1981 mean that the end of a de facto relationship will be treated the same as a divorce when it comes to a person’s Will.

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elderly couple looking at computer comparing retirement villages

How Do I Compare
Retirement Villages

In 2017, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation which amended the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld) (“the Act”). The amendments to the Act will take effect from 1 February 2019.

Changes to Documentation

Operators will no longer issue Public Information Documents. These will be replaced by a Village Comparison Document – Retirement Village Form 3 (“VCD”) and a Prospective Costs Document – Retirement Village Form 4 (“PCD”).

The purpose of a VCD is to give general information about a retirement Village to prospective residents and to help them compare Villages. Both existing and new Villages must have a VCD.

The purpose of a PCD is to provide particular information about the specific unit that a prospective resident may wish to purchase. It is intended to help the resident understand the costs of entering, living in, leaving the particular unit and any contract options that they may be interested in. It is expected that this information is personalised for each prospective resident.

Pre-Contractual Waiting Period

Operators will now need to wait at least twenty-one (21) days before entering into a Residence Contract with a prospective resident, after giving that person a copy of:-

  • the Residence Contract;
  • the VCD;
  • the PCD;
  • any by-laws; and
  • any additional contract that forms part of the Residence Contract (for example, a Lease or a Loan Agreement).</

Failure by Operators to provide the necessary documents to the prospective resident or meet the timeframes as provided above will result in the Operators committing an offence which carries penalties under the Act.

If you would like further information about the changes to the Act and their effect on you or your family, contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Lawyer, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property

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Land tax relief measures have been announced by the Queensland Government in light of the ongoing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on properties in Queensland.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
and Business Contracts

There has been unprecedented disruption to our lives and businesses due to COVID-19 with some businesses being unable to open their doors.

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Rural Property

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Commercial building

Energy Efficient Buildings

The Commercial Building Disclosure Program

The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program requires that the energy efficiency information of certain commercial office spaces be provided to prospective tenants or buyers prior to the relevant building being sold, leased or subleased.

A building’s energy efficiency information allows prospective tenants/buyers to conduct a credible comparison of the energy efficiency and greenhouse emissions of commercial properties, creating a more informed market and encouraging more energy efficient buildings and reduced emissions overall.

Owners & Lessors

If you are an owner or lessor of a commercial office space with a minimum net lettable area of 1000 square meters, you must obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) prior to the building being placed on the market for sale, lease or sublease.

The BEEC sets out the building’s energy efficiency rating, and consists of:-

  1. a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy for Offices star rating, which provides information on the building’s energy efficiency; and
  2. a CBD Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA), which is an assessment of the installed general lighting system.  A BEEC can only be obtained through a CBD accredited assessor.

Some buildings are exempt from the disclosure obligations and/or information gathering provisions of the relevant legislation. Accordingly, if you are an owner or lessor about to sell or lease/sublease your building, please contact our Commercial & Property team to discuss your obligations.

Prospective Buyers & Tenants

If you are a prospective buyer or tenant of commercial property, you have the right to request that the owner or lessor provide a current, valid BEEC as soon as possible in the process of the transaction. This information must be provided free of charge.

Some of the benefits of working in a more energy efficient building include improved productivity and reduced operational costs. It is therefore in buyers’ and tenants’ best interests to request a BEEC in order to determine the energy efficiency of a building they are considering purchasing or leasing.

If you have any queries regarding the BEEC, or any other aspect of a building which you are considering purchasing or leasing, please contact our Commercial & Property team on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form to discuss your options.

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Building Legislation
Amendment: Cladding

In response to the fatal fire at the Grenfell Tower in London, the Queensland Government carried out an investigation of the extent to which non-conforming combustible cladding was being used in Queensland buildings.

Following this investigation, the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld) (“Regulation”) was passed by Parliament and commenced on 1 October 2018.

The Regulation imposes obligations on owners of certain buildings to identify and assess the risk of cladding products installed in those buildings.

ARE YOU AFFECTED?

Buildings that may be affected are class 2-9 buildings of a type A or type B construction which were given developmental approval to build, or alter the cladding, after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018.

This definition encompasses all residential and commercial buildings, other than houses and other low risk residential use buildings.

WHAT ARE YOUR OBLIGATIONS?

The regulation imposes a three stage process in which owners must provide certain details and documents to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) through the online system (at www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au) within the relevant compliance period.

A timeline of your obligations as an owner is set out below:

Steps to be taken Deadline
Stage 1 Register your building/s on the Safer Buildings website and complete the Combustible Cladding Checklist (Part 1) online.

 

29 March 2019
Stage 2 Engage a building industry professional to prepare a Building Industry Professional Statement and submit same to the QBCC through the online portal, and complete the Combustible Cladding Checklist (Part 2) online.

 

29 May 2019
Stage 3 – Part A Engage a fire engineer to prepare a Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment and Fire Engineer Statement and register the fire engineer’s details in the online system.

 

27 August 2019
Stage 3 – Part B Upon receipt of the Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment and Fire Engineer Statement required at Stage 3 – Part A, complete the Combustible Cladding Checklist (Part 3) online and upload the relevant documents onto the online system.

 

3 May 2021

WHAT IF YOUR CLADDING IS NON-COMPLIANT?

If you are concerned that the cladding in your building is non-compliant, or you are selling your property, please contact our office to discuss your obligations.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you have any queries.

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TAKE ACTION