Can you distribute property from a company in liquidation to a shareholder stamp duty free? (in SA)

In South Australia you can transfer a property from a company to the shareholders of the company without paying stamp duty. The exemption is found is section 71(5)(a) of the Stamp Duties Act 1923 (SA).

It does not matter who the shareholders are. For example, the shareholders can be individuals, other companies and trusts.

Section 71(6) does not apply to deny the exemption from stamp duty if the shareholder is a trust. This is because the shareholder does not have a ‘beneficial interest’ in the property prior to the company transferring the property to the shareholder. This can be contrasted to the exemption available when a trust transfers property to a beneficiary. Under this exemption, if the beneficiary is also a trust, then section 71(6) denies the exemption, and duty is payable.

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