Opinion Number. 372

Subject

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

Key Legislation

IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION ACT 1901-1908, s. 4B : THE STAMP ACT AMENDMENT ACT 1902 (S.A.)

Date
Client
The Secretary, Department of External Affairs

The Secretary, Department of External Affairs, forwards for advice the following memorandum from the Collector of Customs, Adelaide:

Under the South Australian State Stamp Duties Acts(1) Is stamp duty is required on each-

'Affidavit or declaration when sworn or declared and subscribed before a Special Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for taking Affidavits, or a Notary Public'.

In regard to Customs matters the Comptroller-General has advised (See General Order No. 232) that stamp duty is not payable under the Stamp Duties Acts of the various States, either by the Commonwealth or individuals, on documents, including receipts for officers' salaries and pay orders, which represent transactions between the Commonwealth and any other party.

It is presumed that the above applies to declarations on applications for certificates of exemption-see form attached.

If, however, there is any doubt about the matter perhaps you would like to speak to the Comptroller-General in regard to it.

The application form referred to is the form of an application for a certificate under section 4B of the Act(2)-as prescribed by Statutory Rule 1908, No. 85-with a form of statutory declaration under South Australian law attached.

In my opinion the Stamp Duties Acts of South Australia cannot be construed to apply to a statutory declaration taken in pursuance of a Commonwealth Act for the purposes of the Government of the Commonwealth; and stamp duty is therefore not payable on such declarations.(3)

[Vol. 7, p. 414]

(1) See The Stamp Act Amendment Act 1902 (S.A.).

(2) Immigration Restriction Act 1901-1908.

(3) Cf. Opinion No. 294.