With the end of the land tax rating year on the not-too-distant horizon, now is the time to review your property asset structure with your accountant. This can be a time-consuming process, and allowing enough time to obtain advice from your accountant and lawyer and lodge any documentation with the Land Registry will reduce your stress for the next few weeks.
There are many reasons why transferring property into a trust can be beneficial. It can allow for income to be distributed between the beneficiaries in predetermined amounts, protect assets from creditors even if one of the beneficiaries declares bankruptcy. Finally, it can have the benefit of allowing the transfer of ownership within the members of the trust, for estate planning purposes, without triggering stamp duty or capital gains tax.
There are several steps that must be taken to ensure the correct transfer of your property. A declaration of trust must be declared over the property, which requires a complex assessment from the State Revenue Office. Although there are different evidentiary requirements based on the type of trust, at a minimum, there must be statutory declarations and a valuation to be completed. After lodgement of these documents with the State Revenue Office, it can take up to 30 days for this assessment to be received.
After a successful assessment, it can take an additional week for the registration of title to occur, to register the correct owner on the Certificate of Title. As a result of this, it is important that you allow enough time for all the necessary steps to be taken if you require your property to be transferred prior to the end of the land tax rating year.
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