THE state government has extended the deadline by which landowners are asked to advise Revenue SA of their individual land holdings and ownership interests, in preparation for the introduction of $70 million in land tax cuts next financial year.
South Australians now have until July 31 (instead of June) to confirm and update their land holdings, confirm and update company group information and notify the government of land held on trust.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the government wanted to ensure investors were given as much time and opportunity as possible to provide their relevant details to Revenue SA.
"For many people this will be a relatively simple process, but we do understand for others it may be a more detailed exercise that could require expert legal or financial advice," he said.
"Changes to land tax laws passed by the Parliament late last year mean land holders now have new reporting obligations in relation to their land holdings and we want to assist companies and individuals to do that in a way that minimises worry or concern.
"For that reason, I have asked Treasury to extend the deadline to July 31 to give investors (and, in some cases, their advisors) maximum opportunity to fill out their form, and Revenue SA enough time to collate the information in time for the introduction of $70m in land tax cuts for 2020-21."
As part of the reforms, South Australians will save $189m in land tax over three years.
But opposition treasurer Stephen Mullighan has called the whole process a "debacle", particularly with Revenue SA sending out nearly 400,000 letters to SA property owners asking them to update their details on a new online portal, leading to widespread confusion.
"The land tax disaster just continues under Rob Lucas," he said.
"First, we had last year's bungled legislation, now we've got a bungled mail-out to landowners.
"It's astonishing the government plans to raise an extra $85m in land tax from property owners, but doesn't know exactly who will have to pay it.
"This mail-out has cost the government millions, and because the process is so confusing, the government has been forced to extend the deadline to July 31 - weeks after the new tax changes are legislated to come into effect.
"Even worse, the (Revenue SA) website has repeatedly crashed, and telephone lines have been overwhelmed, as property owners tried to get answers on why the government was sending out these demands.
"The government needs to start treating property owners with some respect.
"They should have told South Australians what they were doing, and why - rather than spending millions of dollars on a bungled mail-out."
- Details: revenuesa.sa.gov.au