Opinion Number. 294

Subject

STATUTORY DECLARATIONS WHETHER STATE STAMP DUTY PAYABLE WHERE USED FOR COMMONWEALTH PURPOSES

Key Legislation

EXCISE TARIFF 1906 (No. 16 of 1906)

Date
Client
The Minister for Trade and Customs

In South Australia, manufacturers of agricultural implements have, in connection with the administration of the Excise Tariff 1906(1), been asked to furnish returns as to the number of employees, wages paid, etc., verified by statutory declarations. In that State, statutory declarations are, under State law, subject to a stamp duty of Is.

The matter has been referred to me for advice as to whether duty stamps are required in the case of the declarations referred to.

I understand that the statutory declarations asked for are the ordinary statutory declarations provided for by the law of the State. They are therefore subject to State law for whatever purpose they are made, and if the State law imposes a stamp duty on them it must, of course, be paid.

The case of D'Emden v. Pedder 1 C.L.R. 91, which decided that a State stamp duty on receipts did not apply to a receipt given by a Commonwealth officer for his salary, has no application to the present case. In D'Emden v. Pedder, the receipt was given by a Commonwealth officer on a Commonwealth form and in pursuance of Commonwealth law. In the present case, the statutory declarations are made solely in pursuance of State law, and not in pursuance of any law of the Commonwealth.

I am of opinion that the imposition of stamp duty on the statutory declarations referred to is lawful.

[Vol. 6, p. 193]

(1) No. 16 of 1906.

* See also Opinion No. 372.