Thinking | 19 December 2017

NSW Budget 2017-2018 Half Yearly Review

On 14 December the Treasurer released the 2017-2018 Half Yearly Review showing that the NSW Government was set to deliver a budget surplus of $3.3b in 2017-2018.

A summary of the review in relation to state taxes are:

  • Taxation revenue is estimated to be $149m lower than the budget estimate.  This is partly due to the lower forecast transfer duty as growing numbers of first homebuyers benefit from new concessions, but with expected higher payroll tax and land tax collections partly off-setting the reduction.
  • Stamp duty policy changes announced in the budget (Housing Affordability package; increase in foreign purchaser duty to 8%), have changed the mix of transactions between first homebuyers, domestic investors and foreign investors, resulting in overall lower transfer duty revenue. As a result, transfer duty revenue is forecast to be $657m lower over the estimates.
  • Land tax revenue in 2017-2018 is expected to be $105.9m higher than at the budget as a result of new land valuations determined by the valuer general as at 1 July 2017.

This may result in an increase in taxpayers being unsatisfied with their valuations and land tax assessments and seeking to object to land valuations and/or restructure land holdings.

  • Payroll tax revenue in 2017-2018 is expected to also be higher than estimated, by $189.5m, as a result of strong NSW employment and wage growth.
  • Given the significant reduction in transfer duty revenue and the Government’s focus on land tax and payroll tax revenue, the NSW Revenue may increase surveillance activity in relation to land tax and payroll tax compliance, for example land tax exemptions and payroll tax grouping.

Clients should be reminded to keep accurate and supporting evidence of their taxation positions.

If you have any queries in relation to the above or how it may impact your clients, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Oliver Jankowsky

Partner & Head of International Practice

Ed Paton

Partner & Head of SE Asia Practice

Eugene Chen

Partner & Head of China Practice

Melanie Smith

Director - Business Development, Marketing and Communications

Natalie Bannister

Partner & Commercial National Practice Leader

Rhett Slocombe

Partner & Insurance National Practice Leader

Katie McKenzie


James Bull

Special Counsel and Head of Frank

Melanie James

People & Culture Manager

Jacqui Barrett

Partner & Head of US Practice

Paul O’Donnell

Consultant & Head of Energy

Christopher Brown

Partner & Head of UK Practice

Lauren Parrant

Senior People & Culture Advisor, as at 1 July 2022

Melinda Woledge

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jasmine Koh

Senior Associate and Head of Frank

Alison Choy Flannigan

Partner & Leader, Health & Community

Billie Kerkez

Manager – Smarter Recovery Solutions

Peter Jones

Senior Commercial Counsel

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