Stamp Duty Calculator

Posted April 2nd, 2014 and last modified April 4th, 2014

When purchasing a house you will most likely have to pay a government fee of stamp duty Find out more about this relatively common fee charged on a new purchases.

What is Stamp Duty

When you are looking to buy a home, you will be required to pay a variety of fees and charges upfront. One of these major costs is stamp duty; which is payable on nearly all home purchases. It is a tax that is charged by the government on the sale of property and shares and covers the costs of changing the title of the property and ownership details. By knowing how much you will have to pay in stamp duty, you can better plan for the expenditure of finalising the sale of your home.

The amount of stamp duty that you will be charged will be determined by the state or territory that you live in, the amount you pay for the home and the type of property that you are buying. Depending on your personal circumstances you may qualify for an exemption on stamp duty.

How much Stamp Duty will I have to pay?

The amount of government stamp duty that you will have to pay depends on a number of factors. These are;

  • What state or territory you live in. Some states will charge more stamp duty than others but most will be around the same amount.
  • Cost of the home. One of the major factors that will affect the amount of stamp duty that you pay will be the cost of the home that you bought. Generally, if you buy a home that is worth more than $500,000 then you will have to pay a lot of stamp duty.
  • The type of home you buy. The amount of stamp duty that you will be charged will be different depending on the type of home you buy. A vacant property will have less stamp duty charged to it when compared to buying a home.



Stamp Duty Calculator
Title

Use the finder.com.au Stamp Duty Calculator to help you work out how muuch exactly you need to pay.

Remember: Make sure you select the state you are buying when making your calculations.

Are there any exemptions from Stamp Duty?

Government stamp duty can be a very large cost, however there are some exemptions that you will be able to apply for, depending on what state you live in. These include;

  • The value of your house. If you pay less than the threshold amount for your state you may find that the amount of stamp duty that you pay will be quite low. This is because people who are buying homes that are not worth as much will get exemptions from the full amount.
  • First home owners. If you are a first home owner then you may find that you can get exemptions from stamp duty. In some states, first home buyers will not have to pay stamp duty at all, while in others stamp duty will always be payable. However, if you use the first home owner’s grant to pay the stamp duty then you will technically not pay any stamp duty.

How is the Stamp duty Exemption Act Applied?

Stamp duty is payable on most home purchases in Australia, however some people will be exempt from paying government stamp duty.

How to avoid paying stamp duty

As you've already seen, paying stamp duty can significantly increase the cost of your home. However, there are steps you can take to avoid paying stamp duty or at least significantly decrease the amount you pay, which can save you a lot of money.

Consider that the rate of stamp duty you will pay increases according to the value of the property you are purchasing.

Thus, you should consider negotiating to decrease the value of the property to below a certain threshold to avoid paying a larger tax if the difference isn't too great.

If you are building a house, think of reducing the costs by purchasing cheaper fixtures, for example. Lowering the cost of building your home by a few thousand dollars can save you thousands more in taxes.

Stamp duty is significantly greater in most states on properties worth more than $500,000, so consider purchasing a home below this value to save money. Similarly, vacant properties over $300,000 will incur a much higher stamp duty so try to look for properties below this threshold.

Don't forget that in some states you will be charged on the market value of the property rather than the purchase price, so take this into consideration when negotiating. You might not necessarily be able to reduce the stamp duty you are being charged but you may be able to come to an agreement with the seller so that you can negotiate the price of the property down by at least the amount of stamp duty you need to pay.

If it's an option, you can also consider relocating to another state where stamp duty is significantly lower or, if you are a first time home buyer, where you are completely exempt from paying stamp duty. Also, make sure to fully inform yourself regarding any other concessions you might be eligible for.

Since stamp duty can be a significant cost, minimising how much you pay can help you in the long run. The money you save can be put towards paying off the loan, which will save you money on interest costs as well or it can be used to make renovations. You need to remember that it does pay to do your due diligence and see what other options are available to you to reduce the amount of stamp duty you have to pay.

Do I have to pay stamp duty on a loan I am refinancing?

In most cases you will have to pay stamp duty again even if you are refinancing. However, there are situations in which you can avoid paying stamp duty. For example, if the names of the borrowers are the same and the amount of the loan is the same, there might be a chance you could avoid paying stamp duty. In some cases, you might also have to refinance with the same lender to avoid this cost.

Note that in some situations you may have to pay the fees but you can then apply for a refund from the lender. Thus, it pays to make sure you do your research before deciding to refinance because any savings you incur from a lower rate might be completely obliterated if you have to pay stamp duty again. In this case, refinancing may simply not be worth the hassle.

How do I budget for the stamp duty costs on my new home?

Budgeting for stamp duty costs when purchasing a new home requires a bit of research. First and foremost, you have to consider approximately how much you will be paying for the property and what state you are making the purchase in. This is because in some states, the market value of the property will supersede the purchase price if it is higher. Also consider whether you will be paying stamp duty on your loan or not, since this will mean that you have to pay it upfront.

The easiest way to get an idea of how much your stamp duty will cost you is to use a stamp duty calculator. While the figure won't be exact, it will still provide enough of a guideline for you to create a budget. On the other hand, if you want an exact figure, you can ask a professional to calculate the cost of this tax for you as he or she can take into consideration your personal circumstances.

Don't forget that in some states and some situations you might be exempt from paying stamp duty so make sure to do your research thoroughly.

How do I pay my stamp duty?

Paying stamp duty is not all that difficult, as long as you have the funds available. You will generally receive a notice through the mail to the address of the property you have purchased or a specified address if you chose a different mailing address. The letter will contain all the information regarding this tax, including the amount you need to pay.

In terms of when it needs to be paid, each state differs, but on average you will have about three months to make the payment in full. Note that you can't avoid paying it and if you are late, you will incur interest charges and other costs since you won't be able to complete the transaction.

Physically paying the tax is usually a matter of depositing the money in the account provided in the letter. You can do this via direct deposit, bank transfer, cheque or credit card. You don't need to worry, though, because all the payment options will be mentioned in the letter.

Top tips for home loan stamp duty

Here are a few tips to take into consideration to ensure the settlement process goes smoothly for both parties and unnecessary delays are avoided, which also means saving money in the long run.

Buyer tips

  • When composing the Offer and Acceptance, you need to be very specific with the Special Conditions. This means stating exactly what the condition is, who is responsible for its payment, by when the condition must be met at the latest and what the consequences will be if it is breached;
  • Note that banks generally require around 21 days to process approve your loan from when you submit your application so take that into account and make sure you allow plenty of time;
  • Banks also need 28 days from when you receive unconditional approval to release the money for the final settlement;
  • In terms of stamp duty, you will need to give seller a stamped Transfer of Land to be signed to be in full compliance with the Joint Form of General Conditions for the Sale of Land. If you don't have the funds available, advise the bank that you need the money to pay stamp duty before settlement because you will find that most lenders will be willing to help you with this to make sure you meet your obligations;
  • To expedite matters and avoid settlement delays, it is essential that you attend the signing and make sure all documents are returned as quickly as possible;
  • Make sure that you let your Settlement Agent know if you are not going to be present at any point during the settlement.

Seller tips

  • Read the Offer and Acceptance thoroughly and make sure you have understood every condition stated on it because if anything hasn't been fulfilled, there is a good chance settlement will be delayed;
  • It takes the bank 21 days to prepare the documentation to discharge your mortgage after the relevant form has been filed so make sure to let them know you will be discharging your mortgage in advance;
  • If you receive a rates notice for the adjustment of rates, which can occur during settlement, make sure your Settlement Agent receives the document as soon as possible;
  • If the title deed is in your possession because the property isn't being used as security, you will need to make sure you have it available. If you can't find it, speak to your Settlement Agent to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to avoid any delays;
  • Make sure you are present at the signing and that all documents are returned as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays and inform your Settlement Agent if there is a chance you might be away during any stage of the settlement process.

Divorce and Stamp Duty

Stamp duty isn’t payable if one of you is transferring the title to a home or land to another. However, you can only save on stamp duty if the transfer is done so you can obey a court order. The court must be able to know what assets are owned by each of the parties. This includes all of your assets like land, bank accounts and superannuation. It may be necessary to hire an expert to value an asset.

It’s important to know that parenting is seen as a very important contribution. If the marriage has been a long one, it is often seen as equal to financial contributions. Usually, the court gives the party whose financial future is not as good as the other some extra part of the property owned by the parties.

If you are looking to buy a property in Australia then you should know how much government stamp duty you will have to pay. If you are buying a property then you should also find out if you are exempt from paying the stamp duty in any way as you will be able to save a lot of money if you are able to avoid paying the duty.

Stamp Duty Frequently Asked Questions

When do I pay stamp duty if I'm buying a home?

Generally, you will find that stamp duty is included in the purchase price of the home you are buying. For example, if you are buying a home for $300,000 and the stamp duty in your state is $7,500, then the actual purchase price of the home is $307,500. This means that basically, you will be paying stamp duty when you settle the transaction.

Note, though, that if you've decided to build your home, you can save a fair amount on stamp duty because you will only pay it once, when you purchase the land. When you start building the home, you won't have to pay stamp duty again and since the price of the land will generally be lower than purchasing an established home, you can save quite a bit on this tax.

When do I pay stamp duty on my loan?

Stamp duty is payable up front when you are applying for a loan, exactly like the deposit and application fee. So, you need to make sure you do your calculations properly in advance to make sure you have enough cash available to have the loan and sale processed. Some recommend that you allow a minimum of 10% of the purchase price besides your deposit for things to go smoothly but the best approach is to consult a professional and have everything calculated in advance just to make sure you don't need more since there are also other fees involved.

When is stamp duty payable?

Stamp duty is payable in a number of situations. For example, stamp duty may have to be paid if you are selling or buying a larger item such as a car or boat.

Of course, you will also have to pay stamp duty when purchasing a home, so you need to be prepared since it can be a fairly high tax.

Stamp duty is also payable when a property is transferred from one person to another. Most people only associate this tax with an actual sale of property but it is payable even if there is a simple transfer. A transfer refers to a property being given by one person to another without any funds being exchanged.

For example, if a married couple gets a divorce and one person becomes the owner of the property, this is known as a transfer of property. Likewise, if the property passes to a person as an inheritance after the death of a relative, this is also considered a transfer of property. In both cases, stamp duty will be charged when the property is transferred and will be calculated based on the market value of the property in question.

There are certain exceptions, though, where property transfers will not be charged stamp duty. There are some situations in which the de facto partner or spouse receives the property via a divorce in which they won't be charged tax. Additionally, stamp duty will not be charged if joint tenants transfer the property to tenants in common in equal shares or the latter transfer the property to the original joint tenants.

When it comes to property transfer, it's best to check with a professional to ensure whether or not you have to pay stamp duty and exactly how much you will need to pay.

Are there any exemptions from stamp duty?

While stamp duty is a pretty hefty cost for anyone purchasing a property, there are certain exemptions you may be eligible for. In certain states, if the purchase price or value of your property is below a certain level, you might find that you can enjoy a relatively low rate as you will get an exemption because you are purchasing a low value property.

Also, in many states, if this is the first home you are buying, you can get certain exemptions.

In some areas you will be able to avoid paying stamp duty completely while in others you will receive a discount. However, some states offer a first home owner's grant which can be used to pay the stamp duty instead of waiving the fee completely. So, if you are eligible for the grant and you use it to pay stamp duty, it's basically like not paying this tax at all.

How is the stamp duty Exemption Act applied?

If are purchasing a home or a property in Australia, you can expect to pay stamp duty. However, depending on your personal circumstances, the value of the property and the type of property, there are situations in which you may be exempt from paying this tax.

For example, in New South Wales, if you are purchasing your first property and it's worth less than $500,000, then you won't have to pay this tax. This also applies to properties worth less than $350,000.

In Victoria, you are exempt from paying stamp duty in the following circumstances:

  • If you are an elderly citizen with a pensioners card;
  • If you are a first time home buyer with a family;
  • If the property will be used as your principal residence;
  • If you are buying a farm that you will be using for primary production.

In Queensland, properties purchased as gifts, that are transferred from one owner to another or will be used as the principal place of residence are not subject to stamp duty. Additionally, stamp duty will be waived in the case of a change of tenure or the purchase of a manufactured home.

In South Australia, only homes worth less than $80,500 are exempt from stamp duty while in Western Australia, you will have to pay this tax regardless.
In the Northern Territory, you are eligible for stamp duty exemption if the property was received as a settlement in full or in part, if it is a farm that will be used for primary production or if it is a family home in joint names.

While there are no exemptions on stamp duty in the Australian Capital Territory, you will only have to pay $20 for properties worth less than $349,800.
As a Tasmanian resident, you are exempt from this tax if you received the property as a result of transfer between partners or if you have become the owner of it after a divorce or relationship breakdown.

How do I budget for the stamp duty costs on my new home?

Budgeting for stamp duty costs when purchasing a new home requires a bit of research. First and foremost, you have to consider approximately how much you will be paying for the property and what state you are making the purchase in. This is because in some states, the market value of the property will supersede the purchase price if it is higher. Also consider whether you will be paying stamp duty on your loan or not, since this will mean that you have to pay it upfront.

The easiest way to get an idea of how much your stamp duty will cost you is to use a stamp duty calculator. While the figure won't be exact, it will still provide enough of a guideline for you to create a budget. On the other hand, if you want an exact figure, you can ask a professional to calculate the cost of this tax for you as he or she can take into consideration your personal circumstances.

Don't forget that in some states and some situations you might be exempt from paying stamp duty so make sure to do your research thoroughly.

How much stamp duty will you pay?

The amount of stamp duty you will pay depends on the type of property you are purchases as well as your status. Rates vary across the country and can change quite often, depending whether or not the state governments are trying to encourage people to purchase homes. Generally, the rates are based on a sliding scale, with percentages increasing according to the value of the property.

Note that you might be eligible for an exemption or a discount depending on the area you live in and the type of property you are buying as well as your status. For example, in some states, first time home buyers will be fully exempted from paying stamp duty while in others senior citizens are exempt or receive a discount.

It pays to check that your information is up to date before trying to figure out how much stamp duty you will have to pay.

When will you have to pay stamp duty?

You usually have to pay stamp duty right before settlement to avoid delays but generally not longer than three months after the contracts are exchanged to avoid paying interest charges. Note, though, that in New South Wales, you will have to pay the tax as soon as the contracts are exchanged.

However, in other areas things aren't quite as strict. Thus, if settlement is approximately six weeks from when contracts are exchanged, you should pay the tax two weeks before that to avoid any delays in the transaction going through. If settlement is longer than six weeks, you don't have to pay it quite so early but you should do it within three months of the date of exchange or you will end up paying interest.

If you aren't taking out a loan to purchase the property, you should pay your stamp duty within three months of the exchange to avoid paying interest. In the case in which you are buying an off the plan residential unit, stamp duty needs to be paid within 12 months or when the contract is completed, whichever is earlier.

In terms of commercial units, if you are buying an off plan one that is subject to subdivision, you will need to pay within three months of contract exchange to avoid interest. Note that if you don't pay on time, you won't be able to register your title and the transaction will fall through. The result is that you are liable to lose your deposit and have to pay late settlement penalties.

How do I pay my stamp duty?

Paying stamp duty is not all that difficult, as long as you have the funds available. You will generally receive a notice through the mail to the address of the property you have purchased or a specified address if you chose a different mailing address. The letter will contain all the information regarding this tax, including the amount you need to pay.

In terms of when it needs to be paid, each state differs, but on average you will have about three months to make the payment in full. Note that you can't avoid paying it and if you are late, you will incur interest charges and other costs since you won't be able to complete the transaction.

Physically paying the tax is usually a matter of depositing the money in the account provided in the letter. You can do this via direct deposit, bank transfer, cheque or credit card. You don't need to worry, though, because all the payment options will be mentioned in the letter.



Shirley Liu

Shirley is a personal finance journalist for finder.com.au. She is passionate about home loans and helping users navigate the area and find the best deal for their financial situation.

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2 Responses to Stamp Duty Calculator

  1. Default Gravatar
    jeanette | April 14, 2014

    I was just wondering if I sell my house under$300.ooo dollars do I have to pay stamp duty I am on the Disability pension please.

    • Staff
      Marc | April 15, 2014

      Hi Jeanette,
      thanks for the question.

      There are stamp duty concessions available to some pensioners, so please check out the office of revenue for your state to find out more.

      Cheers,
      Marc.

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