Stamp duties are levied by
Australian State Governments
on the transfer of property
Stamp Duty is a tax levied on legal documents.
Australian State Governments levy stamp duties on the transfer of property from one owner to another. It is payable on land and also on the purchase price of an existing property.
It is levied at different rates by each of the states, and each offers various concessions and incentives.
Stamp Duty is both a taxation revenue measure by government and a means of influencing patterns of demand and expenditure.
It is deemed an acquisitions cost or ‘capital cost’ by the ATO when purchasing a property. It is not tax-deductible immediately or in stages over the first few years of ownership of the property as loan costs are, but can be offset against any capital gains tax payable when the property is eventually sold.
Stamp duty is payable on the full purchase price for a house, townhouse, apartment or any single contract purchase.
Stamp duty is payable only on the land content of a house and land package, which is a 2 part, ‘split’ contract.
There are a large number of online stamp duty calculators available.
Stamp duty on property purchases is a significant tax revenue-raising exercise for state and territory governments.
As the rate of stamp duty increases as the price of the properties increase, it is a progressive tax. If you can afford to purchase a $1million property, it is considered equitable that you pay more stamp duty than someone who can only afford to buy a $350,000 property.
In times of a buoyant property market, state governments fill the coffers with large amounts of revenue. The NSW State Government netted $13.8 billion in 2017-18, due to the lively property market and stamp duty was the government’s single most lucrative source of revenue.
Stamp Duty is ordinarily due and payable at settlement. It is a cost that you cannot avoid and must be budgeted for in the purchase costs.