UPDATED: Changes from 1 July 2019 you need to know

The new financial year brings changes to laws and new fees and charges. SCA (NSW) has highlighted those that affect the strata industry and strata businesses.

e-Conveyancing mandate
From 1 July 2019 customers can no longer lodge mainstream property dealings in paper in NSW. This means that NSW LRS will be unable to accept these dealings in paper form at the Customer Service Counter if signed on or after that date.

Instead, customers must complete these dealings using an Electronic Lodgement Network Operator (ELNO) authorised to operate in NSW.

The following dealings signed on or after 1 July 2019 must be lodged electronically through an ELNO, whether as standalone or in any combination:

  • Discharge of Mortgage – DM
  • Mortgage – M (including mortgage with a Justification for a Change of Name)
  • Transfer – T
  • Caveat – X
  • Withdrawal of Caveat – WX
  • Transmission Application – TA

The six dealings listed above must be lodged electronically from 1 July 2019 unless a Conveyancing Rules waiver applies, or the item is exempted from electronic lodgement.

New LRS fees
The NSW LRS fees for products and services involving land titles, plans, property information and the Water Access Licence Register have changed for the 2019/2020 financial year.

NSW LRS regulated fees are based on the following regulations. These regulations are published on the NSW Legislation website: www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.

  • Real Property Regulation 2014
  • Conveyancing (General) Regulation 2018
  • Strata Schemes Development Regulation 2016

The most common regulated and other fees charged by NSW LRS for 2019/2020 can be found on the LRS Forms and Fees web page.

Customers should note that 2018/2019 regulated fees will be applied to land title dealings and plans lodged before 1 July 2019 but not finalised until after 1 July 2019.

A new system called PEXA commenced from 1 July 2019 and is a new way of facilitating electronic property settlements.

New PEXA system
For strata managers this changes the way in which strata lot ownership financial settlements are done.

Instead of a settlement cheque being drawn as settlement for outstanding levies, strata managers will, through PEXA, now receive payment electronically.

To do this, strata managers should provide BPAY details along with a S184 certificate. These details can either be printed on the S184 certificate or a levy notice can be provided with the S184 certificate.

One major benefit for members with this new system is that it should reduce the number of phone calls for payment details that most offices receive.

More details about PEXA can be found here.

Lodging a tax return
From 1 July 2019, lodging a tax return and managing your tax and super details have changed.

From this date, employees may not receive a payment summary from their employer. This is because of the way employers report tax and super information to the ATO is changing.

This information will instead be available by logging into myGov and accessing ATO online services. For those who use a tax agent they will have this information and will be able to use it to pre-fill tax returns.

Also, health insurers are no longer required to send private health insurance statements. This information should be available in the ATO online services by 20 July.

For employers, from 1 July 2019, you can only claim deductions for payments you make to your workers, such as employees or contractors, where you have complied with the pay as you go withholding and reporting obligations for that payment.

Tax changes for Small Businesses
From July 1, businesses with staff numbers less than 20 are advised to switch to an online payroll system called ‘Single Touch Payroll’. The new system also tracks superannuation payments.

Businesses with more than 20 staff switched to Single Touch Payroll last year.

NSW Civil and Administrative (NCAT) fees increased from 12 July. The NCAT fees and charges schedule can be downloaded here.

Briefly the charges are:

  • 1.75% general increase to all fees and charges.
  • Introduction of a corporation fee for administrative review applications.
  • Certain application types continue to have no fee including community services matters and Guardianship Division applications.

NCAT fees and changes are prescribed under Schedule 2 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Regulation 2013.

A concession rate of 25% of the full fee is available for eligible pensioners. Parties who are unable to pay the concession fee or are not eligible may apply to NCAT for a full or partial fee waiver.