Stamp Duty

Your complete guide to stamp duty costs and fees

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a one-off government fee you will be required to pay when you buy land or property, as well as certain other assets. It is a tax levied by state and territory governments on all the legal documents, contracts and trusts involved when you purchase an asset, or have legal ownership of an asset transferred to you.

Stamp duty may be known under a different name depending on which state or territory you live in. For example, in Tasmania it is known as property transfer duty, while in Queensland it is simply called transfer duty.

Looking to calculate stamp duty? Try our stamp duty calculator.

When do you pay stamp duty?

Depending on which state or territory you live in, there may be exemptions or concessions in place that will allow you to avoid paying, or to pay less, stamp duty. First home buyers benefit from exemptions and concessions in many states or territories. For example, from 1 August 2020 in NSW, under the ‘First Home Buyers Assistance’ scheme, first home buyers are exempt from stamp duty when purchasing property valued up to $800,000, and offered stamp duty relief for homes up to $1,000,000. After 31 July 2021, stamp duty exemptions will be available for first home buyers purchasing property valued up to $650,000, with concessions being made for properties valued at up to $800,000. 

Other states and territories offer concessions to pensioners. In Victoria, for example, pensioners are exempt from paying stamp duty for property valued up to $330,000, and are given a partial concession on properties valued between $330,000 and $750,000.

There may also be exemptions in place if ownership of a deceased estate is being transferred to the beneficiary of a will, or if it is being transferred due to the break of up of a marriage or other relationship.

How much stamp duty costs?

Stamp duty rates and rules vary between states and territories. How much duty you’ll be charged will all depend on where the property or land is located (which state or territory), the type of property (residential, commercial, investment, house, unit etc) and how much the property is worth. Find out more about each states stamp duty charges:

Can I borrow money for stamp duty?

Since stamp duty is an initial cost, lenders prefer if a borrower can support this cost through other means, such as personal savings.

However, in certain circumstances a lender may include this cost in the loan amount which may also include other costs such as Lenders Mortgage Insurance and ongoing product fees.

Stamp duty fees can also be covered through the use of a Guarantor Loan.

See how much stamp duty you might need to pay here.

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What stamp duty and other government charges do I have to pay when I buy my home?

Depending on the state or territory you reside in, stamp duty, transfer fees and other government charges will vary.

Find the amount you'll have to pay in stamp duty and other government fees by using the Lendi stamp duty calculator.

Where does the money paid in stamp duty go?

Stamp duty is a tax, so the amount you pay will go towards the state or territory government budget. The amount will be used to fund public sectors such as Health, Education and Training, Roads Transport and Emergency Services.

Why do we pay stamp duty?

Stamp duty (also known as transfer duty) is a tax charged by the state government on the sale of property or land. It is paid by the property buyer and the stamp duty amount charged will depend on which state or territory the property is located. The duty calculated is based on purchase price so the amount charged increases in line with the amount paid. 

Do you pay stamp duty every time you move?

Unfortunately stamp duty applies each time you purchase property. This includes when buying a home to live in, holiday homes, investment property and vacant land. While there are exemptions and concessions available, these rules vary from state to state.

Do I have to pay stamp duty on a second home?

Yes, stamp duty (transfer duty) is charged by the state government each time you buy residential property or land. The stamp duty amount you will be charged will be calculated based on the property’s purchase price. Stamp duty rates and how it is calculated vary from state to state.

Can stamp duty be added to your mortgage?

Stamp duty cannot be paid off periodically with your mortgage, buyers are required to pay it in full at the time of purchasing. However, the stamp duty amount you’ll need to pay can be factored into the amount you borrow in your mortgage. 

This means stamp duty will be paid out of your cash deposit. As a result your property deposit will be lower and you may also be charged Lenders Mortgage Insurance by your lender. Keep in mind, this will also increase the amount you’ll need to borrow and the overall size of your mortgage.

How to pay stamp duty?

Stamp duty is payable within three months of signing a contract of sale, however it is typically paid by the buyer’s lender, solicitor, or conveyancer at the time of settlement. If you don’t use a solicitor or conveyancer when purchasing property you can transfer the stamp duty funds via BPAY or electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the State Revenue Office. 

How do I avoid stamp duty?

There are stamp duty exemptions and concessions available in certain states and territories, usually for first home buyers. These exemptions and concessions are based on factors such as property price, property type, and whether the property will be owner-occupied or an investment. The higher the property’s value, the higher the stamp duty charge will be.

Use Lendi’s stamp duty calculator to find out how much stamp duty you might have to pay.

What if I am a foreign buyer?

Foreign buyers are typically subject to an additional duty surcharge, on top of the standard transfer duty rates. The additional surcharge amount varies between states and territories, but usually sits at around 7% of the property purchase price. 

Who counts as a foreign buyer?

A foreign buyer is an individual who isn’t an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or someone who holds a special category visa. Foreign corporations may also be subject to foreign buyer surcharges if the company operates outside of Australia or over 50% of voting power/shares in the corporation are in the control of foreign persons.

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