• 13
  • Sep
  • 2019
How to Transfer Farm Land to Family Members

How to Transfer Farm Land to Family Members

Intergenerational Farm Transfers – Transfer Duty Concessions for the Family Farm

The Queensland Government has abolished transfer duty on family farm properties. These changes are aimed at dealing with legacy issues within the Queensland farming sector by making is financially easier for children to buy their parents property when the latter are seeking to retire.

Farming Transfer Duty Concessions – Background

Under the previous legislative provision, transfer duty only applied to the transfer of farm land (associated with livestock, plant and equipment) between family members where the transfer was termed as a “gift” and Succession planning was therefore an expensive undertaking for rural families as many families could simply gift their main asset to their children for no compensation. Children who wanted to continue their family farm would also have to come up with large amounts to money to pay the transfer duty.

However, from 1 July 2016, the Duties and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (Qld) removed the requirement that family farm transfers be by way of gift in order for the relevant duty concession to apply. Under the new legislation, the concession is available for any transfer of ‘business property’ provided:-

  1. the transferor is a ‘defined relative’ of the transferee (relative includes spouses, parents, grandparents and children to name a few); and
  2. the transferee acquires the business property in their personal capacity; and
  3. the person transferring the property carried on the business for which the property is used; and
  4. the transferee intends to carry on the business.

What does this mean for you?

Under these legislative changes, the transfer of the family farm from one family member to another is now exempt from transfer duty, even where that transfer is not by way of gift. Importantly, the transfer duty exemption also applies to residential land, provided it is adjacent to the land used to carry on the business (e.g. the farm or other agricultural or business-related land)

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These changes are important from an estate planning perspective and allow farming families to carry out their business succession plans in a more cost-effective method than previously possible. If you are looking to sell or purchase land used to carry on a primary production business, to or from family members, seek legal advice to ensure this process is completed efficiently.