Broader university exemption for Windfall Gains Tax, VIC
Further to legislation passed in November 2021, current proposed amendments to Victoria’s Windfall Gains Tax expands exemption for universities.
Introduction of Bill includes a further exemption
State Taxation and Treasury Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (part 8) provides an exemption from the Windfall Gains Tax for land owned by a university in certain circumstances.
The windfall gains tax (WGT) was announced in the 2021-22 Victorian Budget and the legislation received royal assent on 30 November 2021. See our article on the Windfall Gains Tax and subsequent article on the charity land tax exemption for further detail.
The WGT will apply from 1 July 2023 and imposes a tax on land that receives an uplift in value as a result of rezoning at the following rates:
|Taxable value uplift||Rate of WGT|
|Less than $100,000||Nil|
|$100,000 > $500,000||62.5%|
|$500,000 or more||50%|
The Government wrote to universities in October 2021 to advise that charities would be exempt from the WGT where they owned and used the land for 15 years after the rezoning. This exemption was included in the legislation that was passed in November 2021.
Proposed WGT exemption for universities
The current bill has now proposed to provide an even broader exemption for universities than the 15 year charity exemption. This broadening of the exemption is positive news, but universities should still understand that the exemption remains subject to the Commissioner’s approval and conditions.
Conditions for exemption
The proposed WGT exemption for universities will apply where it meets all of the following:
- the land is owned by a university
- the university is a charity, and
- the Commissioner is satisfied that any land revenue from the land will be used to further the university’s charitable purpose.
To access the exemption the university must provide to the Commissioner with a declaration as to:
- the nature of any land revenue form the land
- the intended application of the land revenue, and
- how the application of the land revenue will further the university’s charitable purpose.
Land revenue means any revenue arising from the sale or use of the land, including any of the following:
- sale proceeds from the sale of the land
- rental income from leasing the land
- licence fees from licensing the land.
How SW can assist
The SW Education team works closely with a large number of Victoria’s universities and has extensive experience in advising and assisting them to navigate financial complexities. Should your university be in the process of rezoning Victorian land and require any further advice on this issue please contact either Stephen O’Flynn or Steve Allan.