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This article examines the case law regarding the treatment of real property for stamp duty as a result of the landmark High Court of Australia case of FCT v Murry. Before this case, courts were inclined to view site goodwill as part of the land for stamp duty purposes. The concept of goodwill and a study of its key sources is provided, followed by an examination of MURRY and what it brings to the understanding of this legal concept. A selection of important cases preceding and following MURRY is then examined to show the effect which that case has had on stamp duty cases. While there is evidence of some reluctance by the courts to discard entirely the old jurisprudence on the treatment of goodwill for stamp duty, it is clear that MURRY has had a distinct impact on this area of the law in that the courts now view goodwill as separate from land on the sale of a business. This change has particularly affected the application of the ‘land rich’ provisions of the various Australian stamp duties legislation.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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