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.
The Duties Act 2001 (the Duties Act) provides that where:
a person lodges an instrument for a decision by the Commissioner as to whether the instrument, or transaction to which it relates, is imposed with duty
the Commissioner decides the instrument or transaction is not imposed with duty
the Commissioner must keep the instrument until the prescribed fee has been paid.1
The amount of the fee (the adjudication fee) is provided in the Duties Regulation 20132and is published on the Office of State Revenue website.
The Commissioner may waive payment of the adjudication fee if the Commissioner considers it is appropriate having regard to the type of instrument and the circumstances in which the instrument was lodged.3
This Public Ruling clarifies the Commissioner’s practice in relation to the waiving of adjudication fees on certain types of instruments.
Ruling and explanation
The adjudication fee will be waived in the following circumstances:
when instruments are lodged with, or pursuant to, another instrument upon which duty has been, or is to be, paid (for example a guarantee or a building contract)
on any instrument which is not chargeable with duty and is required to be registered or entered in or upon any book or record
on an instrument that must, under s.487(1) of the Duties Act, be properly stamped for use in law or equity or for any purpose or if it is to be given as evidence in any legal proceeding, other than a criminal proceeding.
It is not generally intended that an adjudication fee will be charged in cases where a person, acting without professional advice, lodges an instrument which is not chargeable with duty. Where this becomes evident to the assessor, the matter is to be referred to a Senior Revenue Officer. Waiver of the fee can only be approved by a Senior Revenue Officer or an officer with the equivalent delegation. This is not authority for all instruments lodged by private persons to have the fee waived and each case is to be considered on its own merit.