Often referred to as Stamp Duty, the official name is Transfer Duty. It is a one-off government fee you will be required to pay when you buy or transfer land or property. Stamp duty is imposed following the transfer of a title whether it be for residential, commercial, or investment purposes.
The duty is calculated on the value of the property. The more expensive the asset, the higher the transfer duty rate you’ll have to pay.
Before you can calculate how much duty you must pay for a property transaction, you have to determine its dutiable value. When you buy property in Queensland, the dutiable value is either the unencumbered value of the property (found on the rates notice) or the amount you agree to pay (your consideration) for the transaction, whichever is higher.
In some cases, concessions are available and your solicitor, a conveyancer or financial institution may be able to guide you. Information is available on the Queensland Government website, where there is also a calculator so that you can estimate the duty payable.
Transfer duty is payable once you receive notification that your documents have been assessed. If you’re borrowing money, your lender will likely require you to have these documents stamped before the loan can be settled. Therefore, you will need to pay the transfer duty amount before then. The longer you take to pay the duty, the longer you will have to wait to be legally recognised as the new owner of the property. Then after a certain time additional interest and fees may start to accrue.
In Queensland, transfer duty is payable to the Office of State Revenue (OSR). Before you make a payment, you must first lodge all appropriate documents and forms for assessment. These might include a dutiable transaction statement and a claim for a home or first home transfer duty concession. These documents should be lodged within 30 days of you signing them.
The documents may be lodged with either the OSR, or a registered self-assessor, such as a solicitor. The OSR will then be send you a notice of assessment, which will inform you how much duty you’re liable to pay. The method you use to pay is up to you. But remember, your solicitor or conveyancer can take care of the whole process.
Transfer duty is a state and territory government tax. Because of this, the money you pay will go towards funding certain public sectors, such as health, education and training and roads and transport.