What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty, also known as conveyance duty in the ACT, is a government fee you pay on purchase of a property, whether it’s a home, land, or a commercial property.
How is stamp duty calculated in the ACT?
Stamp duty in the ACT is calculated on the dutiable value of the property. The dutiable value being the market price or the purchase price, whichever is higher.
So the higher the dutiable value of the property, the more expensive the stamp duty will be.
ACT stamp duty general rate from 1 July 2019:
|Purchase Price/Value||Stamp Duty (Transfer Duty) Rate|
|up to $200,000||$20 or $1.20 per $100 or part thereof, whichever is greater|
|$200,001 to $300,000||$2,400 plus $2.20 per $100 or part thereof above $200,000|
|$300,001 to $500,000||$4,600 plus $3.40 per $100 or part thereof above $300,000|
|$500,001 to $750,000||$11,400 plus $4.32 per $100 or part thereof above $500,000|
|$750,001 to $1,000,000||$22,200 plus $5.90 per $100 or part thereof above $750,000|
|$1,000,001 to $1,454,999||$36,950 plus $6.40 per $100 or part thereof above $1,000,000|
|$1,455,000 and over||A flat rate of $4.54 per $100 applied to the total transaction value|
Source: ACT Revenue Office
For example, on a $600,000 property purchase in the ACT, you’d fall within the $500,001 to $750,000 category, Therefore, you would be charged an upfront stamp duty of $11,400 plus an additional charge of $4,320 for a total of $15,720.
Can I add the cost of stamp duty to my home loan?
Given that stamp duty is one of the single biggest ticket item costs when buying a property, you may be able to add the stamp duty amount to your home loan – saving you from having to come up with that amount upfront.
Give us a call on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form to speak with one of our mortgage brokers regarding a suitable home loan.
Stamp duty exemption/concessions – ACT
You may qualify for stamp duty exemption in the ACT under the following three schemes:
- Home buyer concession scheme: First home buyers earning less than $160,000 per year do not have to pay stamp duty for an owner-occupied property.
- Pensioner duty concession scheme: The scheme provides a full or partial stamp duty concession to pensioners purchasing a property valued below the median property value.
- Disability duty concession scheme: This scheme provides a full stamp duty concession to persons with a long-term and permanent disability purchase a home as their principal place of residence.
Stamp duty on new land and off the plan builds exempted for all owner-occupier home buyers
The ACT government announced that starting from 4 June 2020, there will be no stamp duty on new off-the-plan builds, or residential land valued up to $500,000 for all eventual owner-occupiers.
For off-the-plan builds valued between $500,000 and $750,000, stamp duty will be reduced/cut by $11,400.
This stamp duty waiver is available only to owner-occupiers, and will only run until June 30, 2021.
Do first home buyers pay stamp duty in ACT?
The answer is no. Eligible first home buyers do not pay stamp duty in the ACT under the home buyer concession scheme.
Under this ACT government scheme eligible first home buyers will pay no duty for any property, anywhere in the ACT, and at any price.
From 1 July 2019, all properties in the ACT are eligible for this scheme. It applies to vacant residential land and both new and established homes.
To be eligible for the scheme:
- All buyers of the home or land must be at least 18 years old.
- The total gross income (before tax income) of all buyers, including their partners (if any) must not be greater than the income threshold below.
- All buyers including their partners (if any) must not have owned any other property in the last two years*.
- At least one buyer must live in the home continuously for at least one year, starting within 12 months of settlement or completion of construction.
*Even if this isn’t your first property purchase, provided you have owned no property in the last 2 years, you may qualify for this duty concession.
To be eligible to pay no duty, the income from the previous financial year must be less than or equal to the threshold below:
|Number of dependent children||Total gross income threshold|
|5 or more||$176,650|
Is the First Home Owner Grant available in ACT?
After 1 July 2019, the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) no longer exists in the ACT, the FHOG was replaced by the new Home Buyer Concession Scheme, which provides a full duty concession for eligible buyers instead of a cash grant.
How is stamp duty calculated on vacant land in the ACT?
As mentioned above, starting from 4 June 2020, stamp duty on residential land in the ACT valued up to $500,000 is exempt from stamp duty for 12 months until June 30, 2021.
Generally, stamp duty on vacant land in the ACT is calculated the same way as a house. Simply, use our stamp duty calculator above and choose vacant land.
It is a good idea to buy land under one contract and arrange to build a house on the land under a separate contract, that way you pay duty on the land contract only.
However, if you buy a block of land that doesn’t have a house on it, but the seller is building one on the land before you settle as part of your contract, you still pay duty on the combined value of the house and the land. E.g. house-and-land packages and off-the-plan property purchases.
How is stamp duty calculated for commercial properties in the ACT?
Commercial properties valued at or less than $1.5 million pay no stamp duty in the ACT. Where the value exceeds $1.5 million, a flat stamp duty rate of 5% applies.
For example, if you’re buying a commercial property valued at $2 million, then stamp duty of $100,000 (5% of $2 million) applies.
FAQs: Stamp duty (Conveyancing duty) ACT
Who pays the stamp duty in the ACT?
The stamp duty is paid by the purchaser of the property.
You only need to pay duty to the ACT Revenue Office after you register the title to your property at Access Canberra in Dickson.
Your solicitor/conveyancer will be able to assist you in this matter.
When do I pay the stamp duty in the ACT?
After the settlement date of your contract, you or your solicitor have 14 days to lodge your transfer instrument for title registration with Access Canberra.
Once a Notice of Assessment is emailed to you or your agent, payment must be made within 14 days and can be made by BPAY or Electronic Funds Transfer. Penalty tax may be applied if you’re late.
You’ll need to keep all records of the transaction for at least five years after settlement, in case the ACT Revenue Office request copies.
What other fees are there with stamp duty?
In addition to stamp duty, there is the mortgage registration and land transfer fee. Our stamp duty calculator ACT above automatically calculates these additional fees.
The mortgage registration fee for 2020-2021 is $153.00 and the land transfer fee is $409.00.
How much is stamp duty on a $500,000 house in the ACT?
Stamp duty on a $500,000 house in the ACT is $11,400.00 for a non-first home buyer buying an established property, new home or vacant land.
For a first home buyer, the stamp duty is waived.
Are you ready to apply for a home loan?
Our mortgage brokers can assess your situation and work out if you have a large enough deposit to buy a home.
They can also clarify any questions you may have about the cost of stamp duty, transfer fees or first home owners grants in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Speak to one of our specialist mortgage brokers by calling us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our online assessment form to find out if you’re ready to buy.