Dear Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance,
Documents tabled to Parliament last week state that for the 6 months between 1 July to 31 December 2020 there were 21 Exemptions granted under section 3E(2) of the Duties Act 2000 by the Commissioner of State Revenue under delegation from the Treasurer or a member of staff of the State Revenue Office. These exemptions saved the purchasers from being required to pay the Foreign Purchaser Additional Duty upon acquisition of property or lots of land in the name of a foreign corporation or foreign trust.
Under the Freedom of Information Act provisions, I seek information on the name of the foreign entities that were granted exemptions from this Duty and the properties they relate to. Can you please provide the list of the 21 exemptions detailing:
1. Name of foreign corporation/trust or other entity that was granted exemption
2. The address of the property the exemption from paying the foreign purchaser additional duty was granted for. If there are multiple properties exempted for the one purchaser please list all the addresses under the name of the purchaser
3. Who was the exemption authorised by ie. if the exemption was granted by State Revenue Office departmental staff due to it meeting the criteria or if the exemption was a delegated decision from the Treasurer or other Minister or government department. If so please indicate which department eg DJPR, DPC etc.
I also seek the detail on how many applications for exemption from paying the Foreign Purchaser Additional Duty were received in total for the same period.
I wish to seek from you an exemption or waiver from having to pay the FOI application fee to have this request for information to proceed on grounds of public interest. In the current economic climate of the Victorian economic and budget position being very much in deficit, in addition to Victorian businesses who have suffered significant financial losses due to the forced closures mandated by the Andrews Labor government yet still have been issued various land tax invoices and have still been required to pay duty on various acquisitions and transfers of business assets, it is in the public’s interest to know that exemptions given to foreign purchasers from paying duty are only being granted for exceptional reasons and the government is not forgoing state revenue arbitrarily.
Thank you for your email. The SRO is the body most likely to hold the information you are seeking. The SRO has a separate FOI Team, which assesses and processes FOI requests of a nature similar to yours.
Requests for access to documents held by the SRO can be sent to the SRO's FOI team at [email address].
I have cced Sue Kaufman at SRO into this email chain.
Mark Hamilton-Smith | Authorised Senior Freedom of Information
DTF Legal | Corporate and Government Services Division
Department of Treasury and Finance | Level 7, 1 Macarthur Place, Melbourne, 3002
T 03 7005 8987 | M 0410 633 642 | E [email address] | W www.dtf.vic.gov.au
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