Taxes and levies are part and parcel of buying property in Australia. One of the most expensive costs you’ll encounter when buying Australian properties is stamp duty, a tax imposed by the state government.
The revenue the state or territory receives from stamp duty is added to that state government’s budget, so it helps to improve various sectors like health, transport and emergency services. It’s good to know that your money is going to good use – but exactly how much will you need to pay?
The amount of stamp duty varies from state to state, as it depends on certain factors, including first home buyer benefits and concessions. As a rule, the pricier the property you’re buying, the higher the stamp duty is and the amount is generally payable within 30 days of signing a contract or 30 days from settlement, depending on the state or territory the property is situated at.
Most state governments have online calculators to help you estimate the amount of stamp duty that you need to pay, but here is a guide on how much stamp duty should be paid in each state and territory. Note that the following rates apply to residential homes you intend to live in – higher rates may apply to investment property purchases:
Australian Capital Territory
In the ACT, the duty payable for properties worth $200,000 and below is $20 or $1.48 per $100, whichever is greater. The amount increases as the price of the property increases, going up to a flat rate of $5.09 per $100 (applied to the total transaction value) for properties worth $1,455,000 and above.
First homebuyers may be eligible for concessional rates, but certain prerequisites must be met first to do with property value, property type and occupancy requirements. The ACT government also offers stamp duty concessions and exemptions for eligible pensioners.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in the ACT (without concession): $13,460
New South Wales
The rate varies widely, but for properties priced between $300,001 and $1 million, the NSW duty payable is $8,990 plus $4.50 for every $100 or part thereof over $300,000. Premium properties worth $3 million and above attract stamp duty of $150,490 plus $7 for every $100 or part thereof that the value exceeds $3 million. Take note that premium duty is only payable on residential land.
Like the ACT, NSW also offers concessions for first home buyers. It also has a First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) of $10,000, however, it does not offer exemptions for pensioners.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in NSW (without concession): $17,990
The Northern Territory follows a formula for the dutiable value of properties worth $525,000 and below. The complex formula is as follows: duty payable is equal to (0.06571441 x V2) + 15V, where V is the dutiable value of the property divided by 1000.
The formula is not applicable for properties exceeding $525,000. Instead, those properties (not exceeding $3 million in dutiable value) get a flat rate of 4.95% of dutiable value. If the property price exceeds $3 million, the stamp duty is 5.45% of the dutiable value.
Pensioners can be eligible for Senior, Pensioner, and Carer Concession (SPCC) if they are at least 60 years old or a holder of Northern Territory pensioner and carer concession card. New homeowners can get up to $7,000 off stamp duty, provided they are not eligible for FHOG or SPCC.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in NT (without concession): $23,928.60
Stamp duty rates at Tasmania start at $20 for properties priced $1,300 or less. Now, properties in Tasmania are cheap, but not this cheap! Therefore, most buyers will be paying much more than this. For instance, the rate goes up to $5,935 plus $4.00 for every $100 or part thereof over $200,000 but less than $375,000. Tasmania currently does not offer concessions for either first homebuyers or pensioners.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in Tasmania (without concession): $18,247.50
For properties worth $12,000 and below, stamp duty rates start at 1% of dutiable value. The highest amount is reserved for properties exceeding $500,000 in dutiable value in South Australia, as they are charged a stamp duty of $21,330 plus 5.5% of dutiable value over $500,000.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in SA (without concession): $21,330
Stamp duty in Victoria is calculated on a sliding scale, starting at 1.4% for properties valued at $25,000 and below and going up to 5.5% for properties over $960,000.
First homebuyers have recently been dealt a lucky break, with news that from 1 July 2017, they won’t have to pay stamp duty at all for any property that costs less than $600,000, and a reduced amount on properties priced between $600,001 and $750,000.
Pensioners are exempt from paying stamp duty if their property is valued up to $330,000, while they get a part concession for properties priced between $330,0010 and $750,000.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in Victoria (without concession): $25,070
In WA, for properties worth $120,000 and below, stamp duty is payable at a rate of 1.9%. It increases in increments to $28,435 plus 5.15% of dutiable value over $725,000.
There are no stamp duty exemptions in Western Australia for first homebuyers.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in WA (without concession): $17,765
Queensland has no stamp duty payable for properties valued less than $5,000, and a rate of 1.5% applies between $5,000 to $75,000. However, this rises to $1,050 plus $3.50 for every 100 or part thereof over $75,000 when the property value falls between $75,000 and $540,000, and increases to as much as $38,025 plus $5.75 for every $100 or part thereof over $1,000,000 for properties valued at more than $1,000,000.
First homebuyers get concessions for properties valued at less than $550,000. No concessions are offered for pensioners.
Estimated stamp duty on a $500,000 residential home in Queensland (without concession): $15,925.00
At Think Conveyancing, our goal is to help you navigate the process of buying and selling property with as little stress as possible. If you have any questions about stamp duty or any other aspect of your property transaction, please contact our friendly team at Think Conveyancing on 1300 932 738, or contact us online here.