Stamp Duty on Property Guide Australia

So you’ve done some research on buying a property and have seen stamp duty come up a fair few times. What is it and how painful will it be?

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a tax payable on the sale or transfer of a property.

Do I have to pay stamp duty and when?

Stamp duty is administered by state authorities so the rules differ according to state. Generally stamp duty is payable on all property sales and transfers after the date of exchange of contracts (see our contract date and settlement date guide). In NSW the duty is payable within 3 months. [1] The buyer pays the duty not the seller.

What about off-the-plan properties?

Thankfully many states (including NSW) will allow some concessions on off-the-plan properties. Payment of the duty must be made within 3 month of either the completion of the agreement, the assignment of the whole or any part of the purchaser’s interest under the agreement, or the expiration of 12 months after the date of the agreement. [2]

How much is stamp duty? Can I get a concession?

The amount of duty is calculated based on the ‘dutiable value of the property’ at the time of sale or transfer. The dutiable value is the highest of:

  1. The purchase price
  2. The market value of the property

As stamp duty is administered by state authorities the amount varies according to the state. Concessions (stamp duty discounts) also vary by state. You can find information for the amounts payable in different states using the links below.

How do I actually pay stamp duty?

There are two options for paying stamp duty.

1.      Conveyancer / solicitor

If you are using a conveyance or solicitor when purchasing the property they can handle the payment of stamp duty on your behalf. This is the easiest and often recommended option. You can find more information on this in our Property Conveyancing Guide.

2.      Pay through the state authority

If you are not using a conveyancer or solicitor you can contact the relevant state authority for payment options which may include the ability to pay via cheque at their physical office.

Sources:

[1] Transfer land or business, OSR NSW

[2] Frequent questions, OSR NSW