Stamp Duty in Australia: 2024 Definitive Guide

Stamp Duty in Australia: 2024 Definitive Guide

Paying stamp duty is a necessary cost for most home buyers in Australia, and is a significant expense in property ownership. It is arguably the the most surprising and costly expense you’ll have to pay when acquiring property.

What Is Stamp Duty in Australia?

Stamp duty is a tax in Australia on certain documents and transactions, including property transactions, imposed by state governments. 

The collected funds are used for the following:

  • Infrastructure
  • Public facilities
  • Healthcare
  • And so on

How Much Stamp Duty Do I Need to Pay in Australia?

Stamp duty cost is usually 4-5% of the property value. As an example, if your property purchase price is $1,000,000, you can expect to pay approximately $40,000 – $50,000 in stamp duty.

The cost of stamp duty usually depends on the following:

  • Purchase price
  • Location or state
  • Intended purpose

The calculation method for stamp duty varies by the state government.

Note:  Stamp duty cost as a percentage of property value increases with higher property values.

Try our Australian Stamp Duty Calculator!

  • First Home Buyer means that it’s the first time you bought a home that you will be living in for at least 6 months of the first 12 months of ownership. For an Australian expat, this is usually always ‘No’.
  • Foreign Purchaser means that you are not an Australian citizen or Australian Permanent Resident. If you are an Australian expat, you are not a Foreigner Purchaser.
  • Transfer fee is a state government fee for updating the land’s ownership title records to your name.
  • Mortgage fee is another government fee. For registering your mortgage and the lender as mortgagee on your property.

When is the Stamp Duty Payment Due?

Stamp duty deadlines vary by state. Your conveyancer, solicitor, or settlement agent will advise and assist you with the payment to the state’s revenue office. 

Stamp duty is usually paid on the settlement day if you’re obtaining a mortgage.

Stamp Duty Deadlines Based on Australian State Governments

StateDeadline
NSWStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO within 90 days of settlement. If purchasing off-the-plan, Stamp Duty is payable within 90 days of signed contract date.
VICStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO within 30 days of settlement.
QLDStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO within 30 days of settlement.
WAStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO within 30 days of receiving the Duties Assessment Notice. To receive the Assessment Notice you’ll first have to lodge your Transfer documents to the SRO within 60 days of the settlement.
NTStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO within 60 days of entering into a transaction or settlement, whichever is earlier.
SAStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO on the day of settlement.
TASStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO within 90 days of settlement.
ACTStamp Duty to be paid to the SRO within 14 days of receiving the Notice of Assessment. To receive the Assessment Notice you’ll first have to lodge your Transfer documents to the SRO within 14 days of the settlement.

Stamp Duty Concessions and Exemptions in Australian States

First-time homeowners purchasing primary residence (new homes only):

  • Purchase price <=$800,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $800,001–999,999 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price $1 million+ = No concession

———————————————

First-time homeowners purchasing primary residence (established):

  • Purchase price <=$650,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $650,001–799,999 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price $800k+ = No concession

———————————————

First-time homeowners purchasing vacant land (to build on later):

  • Purchase price <=$400,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $400,001–499,999 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price $500k+ = No concession

First-time homeowners purchasing primary residence:

  • Purchase price <=$600,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $600,001–749,999 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price $750k+ = No concession

Pensioners, farmers, and people purchasing from a plan are also eligible for Stamp duty concessions or exemptions to varying degrees.

First-time homeowners purchasing primary residence:

  • Purchase price <=$500,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $500,001–549,999 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price $550k+ = No concession

———————————————

First-time homeowners purchasing vacant land (to build on later):

  • Purchase price <=$250,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $250,001–399,000 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price $400k+ = No concession

First-time homeowners purchasing primary residence:

  • Purchase price <$430,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $430,000-530,000 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price >$530,000 = No concession

 ———————————————

First-time homeowners purchasing vacant land (to build on later):

  • Purchase price <=$300,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $300,001-399,000 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price $400k+ = No concession

Currently, there is a 75% stamp duty discount for anyone purchasing off-the-plan (pre-construction) until 23 October 2021. Other types of exemptions apply to family farm transactions between family members.

First-time homeowners purchasing a primary residence:

  • Purchase price $430,000-650,000 = $18,601 discount
  • Purchase price >$650,000 = no concession

There are also exemptions and discounts for seniors, pensioners or carers.

There are no Stamp Duty exemptions of concessions.

South Australia currently has the highest Stamp Duty of any State.

Exemptions are available for first-home buyers and pensioners.

First-home buyers and Pensioners in Tasmania can receive a 50% concession on stamp duty when purchasing a property valued up to $400,000 until 30 June 2020.

Stamp duty exemption is also applicable for married couples transferring primary residence property from a sole name into a joint name.

The ACT offers the Home Buyer Concession Scheme for buyers buying new properties, established properties or vacant blocks of land (from 1 July 2019).

  • Purchase price up to $500,000 = Stamp duty exempt
  • Purchase price $500,000-600,000 = Stamp duty concession
  • Purchase price up to $710,000 = Stamp duty concession for non-first home buyers
  • Purchase price up to $750,000 = Stamp duty concession for pensioner concession card holders
  • Transferring a home between married/de facto partners or into joint names = Stamp duty exemption

There are several conditions to qualify:

  • Applicants must be over 18 years old, must not have owned a home in the past 2 years, intend to live in the property for at least 12 months and have a household income under the threshold.
  • Applicants can not have held an interest in any land in the last two years.
  • Applicants need to live in the property for at least one year after buying it.
  • Applicants need to have an income that is lower than the threshold. The income threshold is currently $160,000 for singles with no dependents, $163,330 for couples/singles with 1 dependent child, and $166,660 for couples/singles with 2 or more dependent children.

Stamp Duty Costs May Come As An Unwelcome Surprise

Lack of foresight into the cost of stamp duty can derail your property-buying journey and in some cases give you a nasty surprise after signing an unconditional purchase contract especially if there’s a foreign citizen involved.

That said, the hefty tax bill is mostly unavoidable. To ease the pain, look at it as your tax-deductible donation to the State government in its efforts to make Australia a more desirable place to live!

Speak with one of our tax specialists to find out how you can prepare for and save on stamp duty.

Lodge your Australian Tax Return today

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Frequently Asked Questions

Foreign buyers in some states face an additional stamp duty surcharge, up to 8% on top of regular stamp duty. No surcharge in NT and ACT, 8% in NSW and VIC, 7% in other states.

Stamp duty surcharge is common among developed countries to curb foreign investment demand, improve housing affordability, and increase tax revenue.

Countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada have implemented higher stamp duty fees, up to 20%, on top of the standard fee.

Note: You are not a Foreign Buyer if you are an Australian Citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident, even if you reside overseas.

You may be eligible for stamp duty concessions, but not if you are a foreign national residing overseas. You’ll need to live in the property for at least six months of the first year of ownership.

You can still purchase multiple investment properties and receive the First Home Owner benefits when you return to Australia.

Here are two scenarios where you can waive the stamp duty.

In cases of divorce mandated by Court Order, stamp duty will be waived when transferring properties to the other party.

If a family member passed away and in their Will, it’s stated the properties are to be passed down to you, then Stamp Duty will also be waived.

There is no concession for gifting property from one person to another. Even if a family member sold you one of their properties for $1, the State government would send a third party valuer to obtain the market value of that property, and you will be charged Stamp duty accordingly.