Contributing to policy

We provide recommendations on new taxation policy and lead major taxation reform initiatives. We consult with industry peak bodies, taxpayers and taxpayer representatives in the development of practical solutions for complex policy problems.

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

A significant component of our responsibility to our customers, and all Victorians, is working closely with stakeholders – including the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel – to assist in developing the legislation we administer and ensuring the successful implementation of legislative amendments.

Crafting of legislation involves Cabinet, the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, the Department of Treasury and Finance, and State Revenue Office policy experts. Once an Act has been passed by the Parliament, we ensure we are ready to administer it as efficiently as possible for our customers, with an emphasis on implementing systems and processes to make it easier for our customers to comply.

In 2022–23, notable legislative work included the Gambling Taxation Act 2023, to impose various gambling taxes including new arrangements for casino taxes payable by the Victorian casino operator, and the State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2023, to introduce some of the measures announced in the 2023–24 Victorian Budget including temporary land and payroll tax surcharges.

Other amendments in the State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2023 include:

Business insurance duties

The Act abolished these duties over 10 years by reducing the rate of duty (currently 10%) by one percentage point each year from 1 July 2024.

Duties Act 2000

Improve accessibility for the special disability trust duty (SDT) exemption by expanding access in certain circumstances where the SDT has not been established and by an increase in the property value threshold from $500,000 to $1.5 million.

Increased the property value thresholds to $600,000 for the pensioner and concession cardholder duty exemption and $750,000 for the duty concession.

Land Tax Act 2005

Introduced a temporary land tax surcharge from the 2024 land tax year, expiring after 10 years.

Increased the Absentee Owner Surcharge (AOS) rate from 2% to 4% and reduced the tax-free threshold for non-trust absentee owners from $300,000 to $50,000 from the 2024 land tax year.

Introduced an exemption for land owned by an immediate family member of a qualifying person with a disability, where that person would be eligible to be a principal beneficiary of an SDT and where the property is the person’s principal place of residence.

Introduced an exemption for land protected by a conservation covenant with Trust for Nature (Victoria) from the 2024 land tax year.

Provided the Commissioner with a discretion to extend the land tax exemption for construction or renovation of a principal place of residence for up to 2 additional years where additional time is required to complete construction due to builder insolvency, from the 2024 land tax year.

Payroll Tax Act 2007

Introduced a temporary payroll tax surcharge to commence from 1 July 2023, expiring after 10 years, for employers who pay Australia-wide wages of $10 million or more for a financial year.

Increased the annual payroll tax-free threshold from $700,000 to $900,000 from 1 July 2024 and from $900,000 to $1 million from 1 July 2025 and a corresponding phase-out of the allowable deduction to nil by $5 million in wages from 1 July 2024.

Limited the application of the payroll tax exemption to schools that the Minister for Education, in consultation with the Treasurer, declares to be exempt, from 1 July 2024.

Ensured that payroll tax rates for the 2021–22 financial year continue to apply for future tax years and retrospectively from 1 July 2022.

Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012

Amended to clarify refunds and cancellation of assessments.

Planning and Environment Act 1987 and Subdivision Act 1988

Introduced a new growth areas infrastructure contribution for a plan of subdivision that does not require a statement of compliance to be issued, as well as updating exemptions and conditions.

Taxation Administration Act 1997 and Valuation of Land Act 1960

Clarified the scope of objections to valuations of land used in an assessment of windfall gains tax.

Corporate collective investment vehicles (CCIV)

The Duties Act 2000, Land Tax Act 2005 and Payroll Tax Act 2007 were amended in response to the introduction of CCIVs under Australian Government reforms.

More information about these amendments is on our website.