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Key outcomes for the year included amendments to the duties and payroll tax legislation, as well as the introduction of the point-of-consumption betting tax scheme. Finance also focused on improving online services for customers through more efficient and streamlined processes, reducing red tape, and making it easier to interact with the Department.


Finance’s State Revenue collects around $7 billion in taxation revenue annually on behalf of the State Government.

Foreign Buyers Duty introduced

The Foreign Buyers Duty scheme, which was a government election commitment, was introduced on 1 January 2019. This imposes an additional duty of seven per cent on certain purchases of residential property made by foreign persons.

Finance was responsible for designing and implementing the legislative and administrative scheme, which included:

  • instructing the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office during drafting of the Bill;
  • in conjunction with the Department of Treasury, supporting the Minister and his representative in the Legislative Council during passage of the legislation through Parliament;
  • publishing support materials and delivering customer education sessions to help taxpayers and their representatives understand their obligations;
  • identifying opportunities for data exchange with Australian Border Force and other regulatory bodies to underpin compliance programs; and
  • implementing user friendly systems to allow foreign buyers duty transactions to be self-assessed.

As at 30 June 2019, 208 transactions have been assessed with Foreign Buyers Duty raising just over $5.5 million.

Betting Tax legislation passed

The point-of-consumption betting tax scheme was also introduced on 1 January 2019. The new legislation replaced the previous place-of-supply model and simplified betting tax arrangements in Western Australia. The new arrangements require tax to be paid to Western Australia for bets placed by Western Australians (rather than other jurisdictions, as previously experienced).

Finance’s role in delivering the scheme included:

  • instructing the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office during drafting of the Bill;
  • in conjunction with the Department of Treasury, supporting the Minister and his representative in the Legislative Council during passage of the legislation through Parliament;
  • delivering an easy to use online system to allow taxpayers to self-assess and pay betting tax; and
  • identifying opportunities for compliance programs.

As at 30 June 2019, there are 23 betting tax operators registered and paying the tax with $30 million in revenue raised against the estimated $31 million for 2018-19.

Tax amendments to fund Trainee Incentive Scheme

Finance delivered amendments to the Pay-roll Tax Assessment Act 2002 this year to implement stage two of the Government’s reforms to the exemption for trainees. This involved removing the remaining exemption for wages paid to new worker trainees.

The estimated revenue savings from this measure – $109 million over the forward estimates – will be used to fund a new employer incentive scheme administered by the Department of Training and Workforce Development. This scheme will be available to all businesses (not just those paying payroll tax) and will support new apprenticeships and traineeships being created.

The payroll tax changes were critical for the State to be able to access up to $110 million of funding under the Commonwealth Government’s Skilling Australians Fund National Partnership, a deal negotiated by government in September 2018.

The amendments operate from 1 July 2019.

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