Probate fees to go up - Death tax by stealth

With Victoria’s debts soaring to more than $187 billion in 2027, the state government has been keen to find ways to raise revenue. And now the state Opposition has found that the probate fees are going to be hiked. All this when the pain of the land tax grab employed through various not so indiscreet ways is yet to subside. The opposition says the Allan government is set to tax Victorians ‘beyond the grave’ and have labelled the hike as death tax by stealth. Death tax was abolished in 1981.

In New South Wales, where the maximum probate fee is just $6,652, according to Michael O’Brien’s office release probate fee can go as high as $15,407.40 in Victoria.

For lower value estates, the fee increase is proportionally even higher. Estates valued between $250,000 and $500,000 will be forced to pay $514.40; an increase of 650 per cent for probate to be granted. This is hitting some of our most vulnerable families with a massive new Labor tax.

Victorians are already overpaying for the cost of probate services, with current fees recovering 305 per cent of the cost of running the Probate Office.

“Under Labor’s new fee hikes, this will jump to an outrageous 1086 per cent”.

Connecting the hike to the cuts to the budget for Court Services Victoria, which has been slashed by $19.1 million, the opposition says Victorians will pay 10 times more than the cost of probate services.

From the current revenue of probate services in Victoria of $13.1 million in fees, after the hiked probate fees, that revenue will rise to $46.7 million; an increase of $33.6 million.

Shadow Attorney-General, Michael O’Brien, said: “This massive probate fee hike is nothing less than Labor re-introducing death duties by stealth.

“Death duties were abolished in 1981 because they are unfair. People work hard and pay taxes all their life, they shouldn’t have to pay again after they die.

“Having to pay a proportion of a deceased estate to the Labor Government in order to obtain probate is an outrageous attack on bereaved widows and grieving children. This Labor Government should be ashamed of itself, but it shows just how badly they have mismanaged Victoria’s finances”.

The release quotes the Assistant Treasurer on the parliamentary record stating My personal view is that death duties should be instituted’, to say that the Labor Government was doing just that.

“Not even dying is enough to save Victorians from Labor’s desperation for new taxes.”

Victorians are already tired of having to fork out more and more with every step they take. They also understand the infrastructure projects underway may have to be completed. But they question the pace of things and if we must not slow down, even a tiny bit.

Netz Melbourne (@netz_melb), writing on X, formerly Twitter, said:

“Jacinta Allan has started to bring a death tax to Victoria. The first step is a huge increase to the probate fee which will cost Victorian families thousands of dollars. What’s next? Not even dying is enough to save Victorians from Labor’s new taxes.”

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