Do I Have to Pay Stamp Duty on a Trust Deed? (2024 Update)

Are you thinking of setting up a trust? Are you unsure of the costs associated with lodging a trust deed? Establishing a trust can seem like a complicated task, but it doesn’t have to be if you understand how trusts are registered in each State.

To set up a trust you will need to a lodge a discretionary trust deed. Depending on the revenue authority in your state or territory, you may need to pay stamp duty on the trust deed.

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What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty (also called transfer duty or general duty) is a state-based tax on certain documents and transactions. Most commonly, stamp duty is paid on the purchase of a property, leases and mortgages and trusts. The amount you have to pay will depend on the transaction or document being lodged, but also the requirements of each State revenue service.

Do I have to Pay Stamp Duty on a Trust Deed?

The following list details the states and territories that require payment of stamp duty when lodging a discretionary trust deed. The relevant due dates for payment in each jurisdiction are also listed.

  • ACT – None
  • NSW, $500, 3 months from date of deed
  • NT, $20, 60 days from date of deed
  • QLD – None
  • SA – None
  • TAS, $20, 3 months from date of deed
  • VIC, $200, 30 days from date of deed
  • WA – None

Once you know how much stamp duty you need to pay, you’ll need to have your trust deed drafted.

Drafting your trust deed

It’s important when setting up your trust that you also have a trust deed. Your trust deed will detail who the relevant parties to the trust are. Further, this Deed will outline how you (or others) can vary the trust and how to terminate it. To draft your deed you will need to know who the trustees will be, what the rules will be, the trust property which will be distributed (this can start off as a nominal amount), and the beneficiaries.

Once you know how you want your trust to work, you can create a customisable and ready to use discretionary trust deed online. You can also connect with a lawyer on our marketplace if you would like the document altered or reviewed.

Setting up a trust can be a great way to minimise your tax liabilities and structure your finances for the future, but it’s wise to understand how your trust will work and what state-based taxes you’ll be made to pay first.

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