Stamp duty is a government tax that is levied on many transactions including the transfer of land. While it has recently been renamed as ‘transfer duty’, the original name of ‘stamp duty’ – which came about because of a physical stamp that was (and still is) placed on the transfer document – still remains the more common way to refer to this tax. In recent times, concessions have been introduced that can reduce the amount of stamp duty payable by purchasers of property.
If you are buying vacant land to build your first home, you are entitled to a concession on the basis that you build your home on the land and reside in it within 2 years of the settlement date, and you continue to reside in it for at least 1 year after settlement. In exchange, you do not pay stamp duty if the land is valued at less than $250,000. If the land is valued at between $250,000 and $400,000, you will get a discount off the usual rate of stamp duty. If the land is valued at greater than $400,000, then no discount is available to you.
The vacant land stamp duty concession is in addition to the $15,000 Queensland First Home Owner’s Grant that a first time home owner may be entitled to.
A concession also applies to people buying existing homes. The same concessional conditions applies for both first time home owners and for repeat home buyers – the difference being the amount of the concession. The main conditions for both are that you must move into the home within 12 months of settlement, and live in it as your residence for at least 12 months after moving in. Quite crucially, you can’t rent it out before you move in – the only exceptions being that an existing tenant can remain until their fixed term tenancy expires or the previous owner can remain, but in any event they must vacate within 6 months of settlement.
For first home owners, no stamp duty is payable if the purchase price is less than $500,000. A discount is available if the purchase price is between $500,000 and $549,999. For repeat home owners, the concessional rate applies to the first $350,000 of the value of the residence, and the usual rate applies to the balance.
If you would like to calculate the discounts available to you, a stamp duty estimator is available here
Regardless of whether you are buying or selling or the type of property, our experienced solicitors and conveyancers can assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance to you.
This post is general information only. There may be other restrictions or conditions of these concessions that we have not listed but may be relevant to you. The rate of stamp duty and the concessions available do change from time to time, and so this post is only accurate as at the date of publication. This post is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer. If you have a legal issue, you should always contact your lawyer to obtain advice that is relevant to your circumstances.