NSW OSR Fine because Lawyer Didn't Do Proper Job

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Christine Wu

5 November 2014
Hi I will be appreciate if anyone can help me.
I got my PR in 2008 and bought my property in 2009, I have been stayed in my property from 2009 to 2013.
I was eligible received the grant $14K and exemption of the stamp duty.
My mother got her PR in 2012, she came in 2013, because I was pregnant and moved out with my boyfriend
in 2013, my mother and I decided to transfer the name from my name to my mum's name. Then she can stay
in the property and look after all the bills.

When I applied for transfer the name to my solicitor whom helped me to buy the property in 2009, I asked do my mum needs to pay the stamp duty? The solicitor said he will find out.

After everything has been done, my mother and I asked him again about the stamp duty, he said only need to
pay 1 dollar. My mum and I did not know he applied to exempt the stamp duty by saying I purchased the property in 2009 for my mum. But my mum was not eligible to received the grant and exemption of the stamp duty in 2009 if she was the owner. (This solicitor is also the one helped my mum get the PR visa.)
The Office of the State Revenue sent the letter to give me the penalty for pay back the $14k, plus fine $26k, and stamp duty $7k, plus fine $10k, totally around $40k.

I have to filling the objection form but the solicitor disagree his negligence. He said he can help me to try
to reduce my payment of the fine but I can not trust him anymore. I have no job and only have the family
benefit to support myself and baby, I can not afford to pay that fine. But my mum and I never try to exempt the stamp duty in 2013 and if the solicitor told us we need to pay the stamp duty, my mum could chose to change the land title or not.

I really need help.

Thank you and best regards.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Christine,

1. Do you have a copy of the solicitor's advice (that your mother was exempt from stamp duty) in writing and in your possession?
2. Have you tried contacting the State Revenue Department to explain the lack of payment and possibility of repaying the stamp duty in instalments without incurring the fine?
3. Failing this, you could raise a complaint against your solicitor to the NSW Law Society.
4. Your alternative option is to sue the solicitor for negligence. It would be best to retain another solicitor/representation rather than self-litigate for this route.