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Delays in issuing Land Tax Notices for 2020-21

The Hon John Darley raised in Parliament in mid-February concern about delays in the issuing of land tax notices, and again yesterday. In particular, John put the following questions to the Treasurer:

“I am still receiving several inquiries from people who are yet to receive their 2020-2021 land tax notices, and therefore my questions are:

1. Can the Treasurer provide an update regarding how many owners are yet to receive their land tax notices for 2020-21?

2. Will all owners receive their tax notices with sufficient time to make a payment and claim in their 2020-21 tax return?

3. Given that we are now less than two months from the end of the financial year, what is planned for owners who have not received their land tax notice for payment this financial year?

4. Finally, for those owners wanting to claim a tax deduction in this year’s tax return, will they be given the option to pay what they paid last year as full and final settlement, and if this is greater than the actual 2020-21 tax, will a refund together with interest be paid?”

The Treasurer’s answer is in Hansard for all to read. The Treasurer referred to advice from The Commissioner of Taxation indicating “there are still a significant number of ownerships yet to receive their land tax assessments” seeming to relate to

“...the complexity of in particular the trust arrangements have proved to be much more difficult in terms of trying to ensure accurate resolution of the land tax payments of the complicated trust and, in some cases, related company grouping provisions of the act.”

This would suggest that all other land tax notices that are relatively simple have been processed, and issued on time, as has occurred in past years. In reaching an agreement with Government on land tax back on 25th September 2019, John noted that he

“could not ignore the benefits this new package will have on the economy and the fact that the vast majority of land tax payers would be better off.”

John Darley did not expect, nor was he advised, that implementation would lead to significant delays for many into the following year after implementation, and it will be of even greater concern, if any number of outstanding notices turn out to be for owners who have simple ownership arrangements.