Stamp duty calculator

What is stamp duty? Free calculator and exemptions guide

When purchasing a house you will most likely have to pay a tax called stamp duty. Find out more about this tax and if exemptions apply to you.

Stamp duty is payable on nearly all home purchases. It is a tax 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 purchase of your home.

The amount of stamp duty you pay is 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.


Use the calculator below to determine your stamp duty costs.

Compare home loans in the table below.

Rates last updated September 20th, 2017
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic home loan with a competitive rate and low fees.
3.54%
3.54%
$440
$0 p.a.
80%
Borrow up to 80% LVR with no ongoing fees and a 100% offset account.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Combine a low variable interest rate and free redraw with no application or ongoing fees.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive variable rate, limited fees and plenty of flexibility.
3.69%
3.72%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.49%
4.47%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Take advantage of a 100% offset account along with no annual or application fees.
3.79%
3.84%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
A special limited time offer for owner occupiers. An IMB Transaction Account must be opened with this loan.
3.79%
3.92%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive variable rate home loan with flexible features. You can earn 30,000 Velocity Points for every $100k you borrow (for a limited time, subject to eligibility requirements).
3.86%
3.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no ongoing fees on a competitive variable rate home loan.
3.69%
4.86%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A special rate for first home buyers buying residential property and borrowing over $150K. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.69%
4.15%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Requires a family member to act as guarantor. Discounted rate available with family pledge loans. Family pledge loans require no LMI and no deposit. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
3.79%
4.00%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get a competitive interest rate for 3 years and a discounted variable rate when the fixed period ends.
3.74%
4.06%
$0
$299 p.a.
95%
A loan with no application fee and borrow up to 95% LVR.

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Rates last updated September 20th, 2017
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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.
  • The cost of the property. 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 you will have to pay a significant amount 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.

Use the finder.com.au calculator above to help you work out how much exactly you need to pay.

How is stamp duty calculated?

Each state and territory set the rates at which they charge stamp duty as well as how they are calculated:

  • NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australian. Stamp duty is calculated based on the greater amount between the price paid for the property and the market or unencumbered value of the property. Example: if your property is judged to be worth $450,000 but you paid $475,000, your stamp duty is calculated based on the $475,000 purchase price.
  • ACT. In the ACT stamp duty is also based on the greater amount between the purchase price or the market value of the property. This is the total amount of the house and land when the land already has a property on it or when the buyer has purchased a house and land package where the property will be built on the land purchase before settlement. If you purchase land and then build on it at a separate time you will only be charged stamp duty on the land value or purchase price.
  • South Australia. Stamp duty is calculated based on either the value of the land including improvements or the price paid for the property including GST, whichever is greater.

How can I minimise my stamp duty costs?

Stamp duty is a big expense. But there are steps you can take to avoid paying stamp duty or at least significantly decrease the amount you pay.

  • Lower your costs. 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.
  • Consider a cheaper property. 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.
  • Negotiate. 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.
  • Change states. 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.

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.

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.
  • Pensioners and health card holders. If you currently receive Government benefits, you may be eligible for a concession or exemption. Check your local Office of State Revenue to find out if any apply to you.

How can I find out if I'm exempt from paying stamp duty?

There are a number of fees associated with the purchase of a home or property in Australia, including stamp duty. This is a separate tax charged by the local Office of State Revenue where the property is located and is meant to cover the administration cost of transferring ownership and changing the title for the property.

Stamp duty tax is not a pre-set amount, but rather determined by the state or province you are purchasing in, the cost of the property and its type. There are certain circumstances that may allow an individual to be exempt or to receive discounts from this tax. As stamp tax can be a major cost, it’s important to do your research to see if you can receive any exemptions or concessions.

Click your state or territory below to find out about stamp duty exemptions.

Home Buyer Concession Scheme

The ACT offers the Home Buyer Concession Scheme for home buyers buying new property or vacant blocks of land.

There are a number of conditions, including that the applicant/s can not have held an interest in any land in the last two years.

They'll also need to live in the property for at least one year after buying it.

They also need to have an income which is lower than the threshold. For those with no dependent children, this threshold is $160,000 for the year prior to the property transfer, grant or agreement of property transfer - whichever is first. For those with one child, it's $163,330.

The concessions are as follows for a new property:

Dutiable value of propertyDuty payable
Up to $470,000$20 minimum
$470,000 to $607,000$13.05 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $470,000
$607,000 and aboveNo concession

Source: revenue.act.gov.au.

For vacant land it's as follows:

Dutiable value of landDuty payable
Up to $281,200$20 minimum
$281,200 to $329,500$16.90 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $281,200
$329,500 and aboveNo concession

Source: revenue.act.gov.au.

Deferred Duty

Eligible first home owner grant or Home Buyer Concession recipients can pay off their stamp duty costs over time.

They can select from two payment plans:

  1. Pay their duty within 10 years through instalments
  2. Start paying off the duty after no more than 5 years from the date of transaction. The duty must be paid off within the next 5 years.

Interest is charged on the deferred duty amounts.

As always, check with the ACT Revenue Office to find out the full list of conditions.

Stamp Disability Trust duty exemption

No stamp duty is payable on the transfer of a property to a Special Disability Trust.

This exemption is only available if the property is used as the principal place of residence for the beneficiary of the trust.

Pensioner Duty concession

The ACT also offers concessions for eligible pensioners. This applies to homes and vacant lands.

There are also a number of conditions attached to this, so make sure you check the ACT Revenue Office.

The concessions are as follows for residential homes:

Dutiable value of propertyDuty payable
Up to $680,500$20 minimum
$680,500 to $895,000$15.75 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $680,500
$895,000 and aboveNo concession

Source: revenue.act.gov.au.

And for vacant land:

Dutiable value of propertyDuty payable
Up to $361,700$20 minimum
$361,700 to $434,500$14.15 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $361,700
$434,500 and aboveNo concession

Source: revenue.act.gov.au.

Regular rates of duty

Below is the regular rate of stamp duty in ACT for transactions from 3 June 2015 to current, for any other transactions please see the ACT Revenue Office website.

Value of propertyDuty payable
Up to $200,000$20 or $1.48 per $100 or part thereof, whichever is greater
$200,001 to $300,000$2,960 plus $2.50 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $200,000
$300,001 to $500,000$5,460 plus $4 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $300,000
$500,001 to $750,000$13,460 plus $5 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $500,000
$750,001 to $1,000,000$25,960 plus $6.50 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $750,000
$1,000,001 to $1,454,999$42,210 plus $7 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $1,000,000
$1,455,000 and overA flat rate of $5.09 per $100 applied to the total transaction value

Source: revenue.act.gov.au. Stamp duty is subject to changes so please use the above as a guide only.

There are a number of circumstances where a buyer in NSW could be excused from paying extra funds for the acquisition of a new home. First time home owners are exempt from stamp duty tax if the value of the home is under $650,000. There are also concessions available for new homes with a value of $650,000 - $800,000.

Purchase PriceFirst Home - New Home Duty
$650,000$0
$660,000$2,090
$670,000$4,190
$680,000$6,290
$690,000$8,390
$700,000$10,490
$710,000$12,590
$720,000$14,690
$730,000$16,790
$740,000$18,890
$750,000$20,990
$760,000$23,090
$770,000$25,190
$780,000$27,290
$790,000$29,390
$800,000No discount

For first home buyers buying vacant land, exemptions are available for land valued up to $350,000. Concessions are available for land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.

Rate of stamp duty in NSW, for further information, visit the NSW Office of Revenue website.
Value of propertyDuty payable
Up to $14,000$1.25 for every $100, or part, of the dutiable value
$14,001 to $30,000$175 plus $1.50 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $14,000
$30,001 to $80,000$415 plus $1.75 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $30,000
$80,001 to $300,000$1,290 plus $3.50 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $80,000
$300,001 to $1million$8,990 plus $4.50 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $300,000
Over $1 million$40,490 plus $5.50 per $100 or part thereof by which the value exceeds $1 million
Premium property $3 million and above$150,490 plus $7.00 for every $100, that the value exceeds $3,000,000

Source: osr.nsw.gov.au. Stamp duty is subject to changes so please use the above as a guide only.

Learn more about stamp duty in NSW here

First Home Owner Discount

Under the Northern Territory's First Home Owner Discount, first home buyers purchasing an established home can receive exemptions and discounts. Homes valued up to $500,000 are exempt from stamp duty, while homes valued up to $650,000 receive discounts.

Principal Place of Residence Rebate

If you are buying a new home in the Northern Territory (NT) you may be eligible for the Principal Place of Residence Rebate (PPRR).

This is a discount off your stamp duty up to $7000.

This is for the sole use by individuals who purchased a home that has never been lived in prior or sold as a place of residence.

You will have up to five years after the transaction to apply for your rebate. To be eligible, the home or land value must not exceed $750,000 or $385,000 respectively.

Rate of stamp duty for Northern Territory, for further information visit the Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance website.
Where duty is calculated on the purchase price or unencumbered value of the dutiable property, whichever is greater, as follows

D = (0.0657144 x V2) + 15V

Where

D = the duty payable in $

and

V = the dutiable value

1,000

  • Prior to 1 July 2011, where the dutiable value exceeds $525,000 deduct 4.95% of that amount
  • From 1 July 2011, where the dutiable value exceeds $525,000, but is less than $3 million deduct 4.95% of that
  • From 1 July 2011, where the dutiable value is $3 million or more deduct 5.45% of that amount

Source: treasury.nt.gov.au. Stamp duty is subject to changes so please use the above as a guide only.

Senior, Pensioner and Carer Concession

The Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance offers up to $10,000 in stamp duty concessions if you're eligible.

This concession only applies to homes up to $750,000 and land up to $385,000.

You'll also not be eligible for this if you're eligible for the PPRR listed above.

Home concession

If you buy a home and move into it within a year of the transfer, you can get a stamp duty concession.

The concession works as follows:

Purchase priceDuty payable
Up to $350,000$1 for every $100 or part of $100
$350,000 to $540,000$3,500 + $3.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $350,000
$540,000 to $1 million$10,150 + $4.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $540,000
Over $1 million$30,850 + $5.75 for every $100, or part of $100 over $ 1 million

Source: qld.gov.au

First home concession

If you're buying your first home, you might be eligible for a stamp duty discount.

The property will need to be worth less than $550,000.

See below for the discounts you might be eligible for:

Purchase priceStamp duty discount
Up to $504,999.99$8,750
$505,000 to $509,999.99$7,875
$510,000 to $514,999.99$7,000
$515,000 to $519,999.99$6,125
$520,000 to $524,999.99$5,250
$525,000 to $529,999.99$4,375
$530,000 to $534,999.99$3,500
$535,000 to $539,999.99$2,625
$540,000 to $544,999.99$1,750
$545,000 to $549,999.99$875
$550,000 or moreNil

Source: qld.gov.au

First home vacant land concession

If you're buying vacant land under $400,000 to build your first home, a concession be available.

Purchase priceStamp duty discount
Not more than $250,000100% of duty
More than $250,000 to $259,999.99$7,175
$260,000 to $269,999.99$6,700
$270,000 to $279,999.99$6,225
$280,000 to $289,999.99$5,750
$290,000 to $299,999.99$5,275
$300,000 to $309,999.99$4,800
$310,000 to $319,999.99$4,325
$320,000 to $329,999.99$3,850
$330,000 to $339,999.99$3,375
$340,000 to $349,999.99$2,900
$350,000 to $359,999.99$2,425
$360,000 to $369,999.99$1,950
$370,000 to $379,999.99$1,475
$380,000 to $389,999.99$1,000
$390,000 to $399,999.99$525
$400,000 or moreNone

Source: qld.gov.au

Regular duty rates

Rates of duty paid in QLD where stamp duty is known as transfer duty, for more information visit the QLD Treasury website.

Dutiable valueDuty payable
Up to $5,000Nil
$5,001 to $75,000$1.50 for each $100, or part of $100, over $5,000
$75,001 tp $540,000$1,050 plus $3.50 for each $100, or part of $100, over $75,000
$540,001 to $1 million$17,325 plus $4.50 for each $100, or part of $100, over $540,000
More than $1 million$38,025 plus $5.75 for each $100, or part of $100, over $1 million

Source: qld.gov.au. The above rates are effective from 21 September 2012 and are a guide only as stamp duty is subject to change.

There are few exemptions or concessions available in South Australia (SA) that can assist with offsetting the stamp tax duty when purchasing a home. In fact, the taxes imposed in SA are the highest of any Australian state.

Off-the-Plan concession

There are stamp duty discounts for those buying a new or substantially renovated apartment.

These discounts only apply to apartments located in specific areas in the City of Adelaide, so be sure to check the revenueSA website for more information.

Regular stamp duty rates

Rates of duty in SA, for more information visit the Revenue SA website.
Value of propertyDuty payable
Up to $12,000$1 for every $100 or part of $100
$12,001 to $30,000$120 plus $2 for every $100 or part of $100 over $12,000
$30,001 to $50,000$480 plus $3 for every $100 or part of $100 over $30,000
$50,001 to $100,000$1,080 plus $3.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $50,000
$100,001 to $200,000$2,830 plus $4 for every $100 or part of $100 over $100,000
$200,001 to $250,000$6,830 plus $4.25 for every $100 or part of $100 of over $200,000
$250,001 to $300,000$8,955 plus $4.75 for every $100 or part of $100 over $250,000
$300,001 to $500,000$11,330 plus $5 for every $100 or part of $100 over $300,000
$500,001 and above$21,330 plus $5.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $500,000

Source: revenuesa.sa.gov.au. Stamp duty is subject to changes so please use the above as a guide only.

Homebuyers in Tasmania (TAS) do not get any type of relief on the stamp duty tax unless the property is being transferred between married people, people in a significant relationship or those involved in a caring relationship. The tax duty rates for this Australian state are the third highest in all of Australia. They do however offer a grant to first time home buyers who are buying a newly constructed home. Until the 31st of December 2014, a qualified buyer could receive a grant through this program of up to $30,000.

Rates of duty in Tasmania on transfers of dutiable property made on or after 21 October 2013, for more information or for the duties on properties previous to this visit the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance.
Value of property (including chattels)Duty payable
Up to $3,000$50
$3,001 to $25,000$50 plus $1.75 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $3,000
$25,001 to $75,000$435 plus $2.25 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $25,000
$75,001 to $200,000$1,560 plus $3.50 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $75,000
$200,001 to $375,00$5,935 plus $4 for every $100, or part, by which the dutiable value exceeds $200,000
$375,001 to $725,000$12,935 plus $4.25 for every $100, or part, by which the suitable value exceeds $375,000
$725,001 and above$27,810 plus $4.50 for every $100, or part, by which the suitable value exceeds $725,000

Stamp duty is subject to changes so please use the above as a guide only.

First home buyer duty reduction

First time home buyers in Victoria (VIC) are entitled to a reduction in stamp duty when the value of the home is more than $130,000 but less than $600,000 and is going to be used as a principal place of residence.

Duty is reduced by 50% for eligible buyers.

To be eligible you must meet the eligibility criteria for the first home owner grant in Victoria.

Changes to stamp duty

From 1 July, first home buyers of new or existing homes valued up to $600,000 will have access to additional stamp duty exemptions where they will be completely exempt from paying stamp duty. If the property is valued between $600,000 and $750,000 there will be exemptions available based on a sliding scale.

First home buyers with families

Full stamp duty exemptions are available for those buying a home worth up to $150,000. Concessions are available for properties worth up to $200,000.

To be eligible you must have a dependent child at the time of the sale.

Off-the-plan concessions

Victorian first home buyers buying off-the-plan properties, including house and land packages and refurbished lots can also be eligible for stamp duty concessions.

Pensioner duty exemption or concession

Pensioners buying a home worth up to $750,000 can get a one-off exemption or concession from their stamp duty.

To be eligible, you need to have an eligible concession card at settlement, and intend to live in the property as your home. There are other conditions which you should check on the State Revenue Office of Victoria website.

Exemptions are available for properties worth up to $330,000. If two eligible pensioners are buying a home, they can each claim an exemption for their share of the property, meaning a property worth $660,000 with two equal shares could be exempt.

Young farmers exemption/concession

If you're younger then 35 you might be eligible for exemptions or concessions.

If the property is worth less than $600,000, you'll be exempt from paying duty on the first $300,000.

If it's worth between $600,000 and $750,000, only concessions are available.

Regular stamp duty rates in Victoria

Rates of duty paid in Victoria for transactions on or after 6 May 2008, for more information visit the State Revenue Office of Victoria's website.
Dutiable value rangeDuty payable
Up to $25,0001.4% of the dutiable value of the property
$25,001 to $130,000$350 plus 2.4% of the dutiable value in excess of $25,000
$130,001 to $960,000$2,870 plus 6% of the dutiable value in excess of $130,000
$960,001 and above5.5% of the dutiable value

Stamp duty is subject to changes so please use the above as a guide only.

First home owner concession

First time home buyers in Western Australia buying a new home are exempt from having to pay a duty on any home purchase up to $430,000. On homes or property valued from $430,001 to $530,000, a concession is available on stamp duty.

This concession is $19.19 per $100 or part thereof above $430,000.

First home buyers buying vacant land can also enjoy exemptions on property worth up to $300,000.

For land worth between $300,001 and $400,000, a concession on stamp duty is available.

This is $13.01 per $100 or part thereof above $300,000.

The home must be purchased as a primary place of residence in order to qualify. Other types of exemptions apply to family farms and transactions between family members.

General rates of duty paid in WA, for more information visit the WA Department of Finance website.
Dutiable value rangeDuty payable
Up to $80,000$1.90 per $100 or part thereof
$80,001 to $100,000$1,520 plus $2.85 per $100 or part thereof above $80,000
$100,001 to $250,000$2,090 plus $3.80 per $100 or part thereof above $100,000
$250,001 to $500,000$7,790 plus $4.75 per $100 or part thereof above $250,000
$500,001 and above$19,665 plus $5.15 per $100 or part thereof above $500,000

Stamp duty is subject to changes so please use the above as a guide only.

It’s important that you consider the stamp duty tax when looking into making a home purchase, as it could end up saving a few thousand dollars off your upfront costs.

Find out the rates and any applicable exemptions and concessions for the location where you are planning to buy a home and make sure you can afford this extra charge before making a commitment to a mortgage.

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.

Can I capitalise stamp duty into my loan?

While lenders generally prefer that you pay stamp duty up front, most banks will allow stamp duty to be capitalised into the principal of the loan. You can increase your home loan to cover the cost of stamp duty and then the lender will release the funds when you need them.

However, if you are an investor, stamp duty is generally included in the cost of the property when calculating capital gains.

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

How do I budget for stamp duty costs

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.

Stamp duty in unique cases

Do I have to pay stamp duty on vacant land?

All transfers of land come with stamp duty costs, which you see by using the calculator above. The exception to this is through the various concessions and exemptions available from each state, particularly for first home buyers.

Do I have to pay stamp duty on off the plan property?

Yes, stamp duty is still payable on off the plan property, but keep in mind there are concessions and exemptions available in different states. This includes Victoria, which offers a concession, regardless of whether you intend to live in the property or not.

With the concession, you only pay stamp duty on the improved value of the land, non-deductible costs and the completed construction or refurbishment including GST.

Other states also offer first home buyer concessions and exemptions for new homes which can also apply to off the plan homes.

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.

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.

First home buyer? Learn how to find the right home loan here

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Marc Terrano

A passionate publisher who loves to tell a story. Learning and teaching personal finance is his main lot at finder.com.au. Talk to him to find out more about home loans.

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309 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    susanAugust 3, 2017

    Hi there,

    I found out recently that the investment property in QLD that my husband and I own is set up as tenants in common with a 60/40 split. 60 to my husband, 40 to me. It is still under mortgage. We wish to set the property up as joint tenants (for the sake of our will) and have been informed that we first have to transfer the 10% to me before we can change to joint tenants and that transfer will incur CGT. Is this correct. Is there a way around this? Can he gift it to me?
    Thanks

    • Staff
      LiezlAugust 5, 2017Staff

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your question.

      Transfering a share of a property you own in Queensland to your spouse is a dutiable transaction unless all the following apply:
      -the transfer is by way of gift (regardless of whether your spouse becomes a borrower on an existing mortgage)
      -the transfer is from you to your spouse
      -after the transfer, you and your spouse will own the home as joint tenants or tenants in common in equal shares
      -the home will be your principal residence.

      Hence, unless the property will become your principal residence, the transfer of investment properties will incur transfer duty. You may refer to this page for more information. Better still, seek legal advise on this matter.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  2. Default Gravatar
    July 19, 2017

    Hi ,
    We bought a property in ACT in Late December 2016. They say stamp duty paid is immediately deductable during the first year for properties in ACT (due to all properties in ACT being leasehold not freehold)

    After buying the home we immediately moved in and started renting part of the house. We have been renting for 6 months (until 30 June 2017)
    If the area of the house I rented is 25%
    Can I
    A. claim a full deduction of Stamp Duty at 30 June 2017
    B. Claim a deduction for 25% of the stamp duty paid
    C. Claim a deduction for 25% of the stamp duty X 50% (for only renting for half of the year)?

    Appreciate anyones thoughts on this

    • Staff
      JonathanAugust 1, 2017Staff

      Hello Chin,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      It is unclear as to why would you rent a part of your own home, unless you mean renting it out? Please be advised that as per ATO’s Rental Property Guide 2013 page 7 “If you use your property for both private and assessable income-producing purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for the portion of any expenditure that relates to your private use. Examples of properties you may use for both private and income-producing purposes are holiday homes and time-share units. In cases such as these you cannot claim a deduction for any expenditure incurred for those periods when the home or unit was used by you, your relatives or your friends for private purposes.”

      If you use your property for both private and income-producing purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the portion of any expenditure that relates to the income-producing use. Generally, apportion your expenses on a floor-area basis – that is, based on the area solely occupied by the tenant, together with a reasonable figure for their access to the general living areas, including garage and outdoor areas if applicable. Using your example above and assuming this was meant to be renting out, Answer C is applicable for you.

      You may refer this matter to ATO or to a tax accountant for further review.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    DianaJuly 12, 2017

    Hi, I bought a property before I got married. If my husband buys a property under his name only under $650,000, does he still need to pay stamp duty as first home home buyer in NSW?

    • Staff
      JonathanJuly 27, 2017Staff

      Hello Diana,

      Thank you for your inquiry today.

      Exemptions on transfer duty are applicable on new and existing homes valued up to $650,000 and vacant block of residential land valued up to $350,000.

      Please make sure you review the eligibility requirements for this grant and you can use this calculator to have an estimate.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    July 11, 2017

    I’m intending on purchasing an active farming enterprise in Victoria valued at $1.2 million. The sale is “walk in walk out” & includes land of 100 acres, 5 acre vineyard, residence, sheds, cattle yards, livestock & plant & equipment. The farm equipment, wine making equipment, motor vehicles & livestock are valued at around $50,000 (from the depreciation schedule). I appreciate that I will need to pay stamp duty on the land, residence, buildings, vineyard & fittings but are the livestock & plant & equipment subject to stamp duty ? Can I separate these items out from the land purchase & purchase them separately. If so I assume that they would be subject to gst.

    • Staff
      JonathanJuly 26, 2017Staff

      Hello Michael,

      Thank you for your inquiry today.

      For a conveyance of Qualifying Land for consideration together with a conveyance of other property cannot be stamped such as:
       Chattels;
       Livestock;
       Plant & equipment;
       Stock;
       Water licence;
       Goodwill or
       Intellectual property

      If the farmer sells livestock and plant and equipment all separately, they are subject to GST if the seller is registered

      You can discuss this with a tax expert for further assistance or to your local tax office.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    KellyJuly 3, 2017

    Hi. If I buy an investment property before my first home, will I still be eligible for first home concessions after?

    • Staff
      LiezlJuly 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for your question.

      This will depend on the location where you are planning to buy a property as applicable exemptions and concessions vary between states and territories. If you intend to purchase a property in Queensland, you won’t be eligible for first home concession. Queensland government requires that in order to claim first home concession, you should have never held an interest in residential land anywhere in the world.

      You may also refer to our guide here on FHOG eligibility after acquiring an investment property.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  6. Default Gravatar
    LisaJune 29, 2017

    If i am being bought out of a business (business is set up as 2 trusts and it a family trust) will i need to pay stamp duty when exiting? The person buying me out is already part ownership with me and is just buying my half?

    • Staff
      MayJune 30, 2017Staff

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.com.au. Please note that we are a leading financial comparison site and general information service and we’re more than delighted to offer general advice to answer your question

      Generally, when selling, closing or changing a business, the tax implication will vary. The tax that you may be charged is GST or capital gains tax on some of the business assets you sell, like land, buildings and intangible assets like patents, licences or goodwill. So you’d be best to check your state or territory government if they have any special requirements and work with your tax adviser/accountant to address the taxation issues of an exit strategy to minimise risks.

      Cheers,
      May

  7. Default Gravatar
    barbaraJune 19, 2017

    will I have to pay stamp duty. Iam intending to buy a propert worth between $4000,000 and $5000,000 to live in. I have just become widow and I will be down sizing. I am a pensioner and I am 80 years old.

    • Staff
      DanielleJune 20, 2017Staff

      Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      If you currently receive Government benefits, or is a pensioner, or a health card holder, you may be eligible for a concession or exemption. Check your local Office of State Revenue to find out if any apply to you.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  8. Default Gravatar
    GDJJune 19, 2017

    If I purchase my first home in QLD and get stamp duty rebate but only live in the property for 6 months rather than 12 also keep it as an investment property, do I have to pay back stamp duty in full or just a portion or is it case by case?

    • Staff
      JonathanJune 20, 2017Staff

      Hi GDJ!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Usually, it is case by case basis as some rules may need to be considered. It is recommended to contact your local tax revenue office about your concern. Call 1300 300 734 (or +61 7 3227 6044 from outside Australia) during office hours.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  9. Default Gravatar
    VivJune 6, 2017

    I bought an apartment with my GF , and I want to know what is the easy way to get the Sole ownership of the property. We are not married or de-facto and I don’t want to include myself in a situation where if we do go different ways then it will cost me my apartment.

    Is there an way where I can just look for refinancing without paying an extra cost towards Stamp duty

    • Staff
      DanielleJune 7, 2017Staff

      Hi Viv

      Thank you for your question and for contacting finder.com.au. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You may refer to this page to find out more about changing property ownership. And you may also speak with a financial expert for advice.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  10. Default Gravatar
    GailMay 25, 2017

    Our family Trust which expires in 2 months owns a property in Victoria. Do we have to pay stamp duty to transfer the property to a new family Trust?

    • Staff
      DanielleMay 26, 2017Staff

      Hi Gail,

      Welcome to http://www.finder.com.au – We are a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer a general advice

      Generally, stamp duty is also payable when a property is transferred from one person to another (even to a family member on a Trust). You’d be best to visit your local state revenue office to get the possible amount of the stamp duty payable.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

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