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Question about transfer fees for motor vehicles

Mrs Armitage (Launceston) to the Honourable Leader of Government, Dr Vanessa Goodwin -

Under current legislation the transfer of e.g. motor vehicles will attract transfer fees/stamp duty unless a Grant of Probate (which comes at some cost) has been issued. If an estate is small, thus not requiring Grant of Probate, any gifting of motor vehicles, e.g. transfer of motor vehicle from a deceased spouse to the remaining spouse, requires payment of stamp duty which can be a large impost to an already grieving person.

The alternative is to leave the vehicle in the name of the deceased person, which is not desirable, or possibly legal.

Will the government consider amending the legislation to allow the provision of a Grant of Probate or in the case of small estates, a Certified Death Certificate and copy of the will to affect transfer?

Answer from Dr Goodwin -

Currently when a motor vehicle is transferred from a deceased estate, an exemption from duty is available if the transferee is registered as a joint owner of the motor vehicle or if the application to transfer the vehicle is made by the personal representative of the deceased person and the vehicle is transferred to the person to whom it is bequeathed in the last will of the deceased person or the person that is beneficially entitled to it under the Intestacy Act 2010.

The policy intent of providing an exemption is to minimise the cost of transferring a motor vehicle from a deceased estate to the intended beneficiary. However, the Government recognises that the current arrangements impose a relatively high burden of proof on the applicant and the cost of appointing a personal representative can exceed the cost of the transfer duty.

Given this, the Government is exploring potential amendments to the Duties Act 2001, that will relax the requirements of the motor vehicle duty exemption and allow the Commissioner of State Revenue to rely on a lower burden of proof when approving an exemption from duty in these circumstances.

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