Legislation passed regarding transfers of farm land

On 4 April 2017, legislation was passed to broaden the application of the exemption for transfers of farm land. The two key changes result in the exemption applying to transfers of primary production land in the following scenarios:

1. Where the transferor is a SMSF and the transferee is a family member of a SMSF member

Extending the exemption to transfers of farming land out of self-managed superannuation funds will be welcome news for clients with farm land in their super funds or contemplating a transfer of farm land into their superannuation funds. It provides added flexibility to know that stamp duty should not be an impediment in the event that it becomes necessary to transfer the land out of the SMSF (usually on the death of the last surviving member).

2. Where the entity carrying on the primary production business is a company or trust controlled by a family member of the transferor or person directing the transferor

Under the previous provisions, the exemption would not technically be available where primary production land is transferred to individuals where a company or trust is carrying on the business. Whilst we have had success in obtaining exemptions in such circumstances, the change in the legislation makes it clear that the exemption is available where the transferee controls the company or trust that is carrying on the primary production business.

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