A public ruling, when issued, is the published view of the Commissioner of State Revenue (the Commissioner) on the particular topic to which it relates. It therefore replaces and overrides any existing private rulings, memoranda, manuals and advice provided by the Commissioner in respect of the issue(s) it addresses.
Where a change in legislation or case law (the law) affects the content of a public ruling, the change in the law overrides the public ruling—that is, the Commissioner will determine the tax liability or eligibility for a concession, grant or exemption, as the case may be, in accordance with the law.
A general power of attorney, as described in s.8 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1998, authorises a person (an attorney) to act according to the powers given to them by another (the principal).
Section 132 of the Land Title Act 1994 provides that an instrument relating to real property executed under the authority of a power of attorney may only be registered on the title if the power of attorney has been registered.
The power of attorney register is held by the Registrar of Titles.1
Section 134(3) of the Land Title Act 1994 allows the Registrar of Titles to register an instrument without being satisfied that the power of attorney has not been revoked.
This Public Ruling clarifies whether a Form 1 Transfer signed by an attorney on behalf of the transferor under the authority of a power of attorney will be accepted for the assessment of transfer duty.
Ruling and explanation
A Form 1 Transfer executed by an attorney under a power of attorney given by the transferor should, in most cases, be accepted for assessment of transfer duty unless there is some significant reason to doubt the existence of the relevant power of attorney.
Section 14 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1998 provides that a power of attorney may be proved by a production of a copy which has been certified as a true and complete copy by one of the following persons:
a commissioner for declarations
a notary public
a lawyer (including a barrister or solicitor)
a trustee company under the Trustee Companies Act 1968
Date of effect
This Public Ruling takes effect from the date of issue.
Commissioner of State Revenue
Date of issue: 24 February 2009