More widely applicable transfer duty concessions and new succession planning grants mean there’s never been a better time for primary producers to consider the succession of their family businesses.
Extension of duty relief
Transfer duty, which is a calculated on a sliding scale up to 5.75% of unencumbered value, is a significant impost on transfers of land and other business assets in Queensland.
In a succession planning context, an important concession has been available on the transfer of property used to carry on family businesses of primary production. The applicability of this concession has been expanded dramatically in recent years.
Since 1 July 2014, the recipient of a property has not needed to be a direct lineal descendant of the transferor and instead can be a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.
Since 1 July 2016, the “gift” requirement has been removed meaning that, provided the other requirements are met, no duty is payable even where the recipient pays for it or assumes debt in conjunction with the transfer.
Since 12 October 2016, the concession has been expanded to include other assets such as water entitlements, brands and business names.
With effect from 23 May 2017 to 22 May 2018, the eligible recipients of the property have temporarily been expanded to include first cousins (and their spouse).
Succession planning grants
Farm Management Grants are now available to Queensland primary producers to offset the costs of professional advice associated with succession planning. The advice must come from a qualified professional such as a solicitor, accountant or financial planner.
Rebates of up to 50% are available with a cap of $2,500 per applicant (family member) per financial year.
Applications for the rebate can be made through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).
Thynne + Macartney’s agribusiness lawyers can help with the development and implementation of a succession plan that achieves a family’s goals and minimises transaction costs.