What is transfer duty when purchasing property?

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When property is purchased or transferred, transfer duty (formerly known as stamp duty), is usually payable. Duty is a state tax, payable to the Queensland Revenue Office.

In Queensland, transfer duty is either calculated on the purchase price of the property, or the unencumbered value of the property; whichever is higher. For example, if you are purchasing the property from a family member for less than its value, you must still have to pay transfer duty on the unencumbered value of the property.

How much transfer duty will be payable on my purchase?

The transfer duty payable on a transaction differs according to the purchase price/value of the property, on a sliding scale: the more expensive the property, the higher the rate of tax.

To calculate how much transfer duty may be payable, you can use this OSR calculator.

Am I eligible for a Concession on transfer duty?

You may be eligible for the First Home, Home, or First Home Vacant Land Concession on stamp duty if:

  • the house/unit is your first home
  • the house/unit will be used as your principal place of residence; or
  • if you are purchasing vacant land on which you will build your first home.

If one of these concessions applies, it will decrease the amount of transfer duty you will have to pay. For more information on whether you are eligible for a concession on transfer duty, please see our other blog article.

When do I pay transfer duty?

Transfer duty becomes payable within 30 days of your contract going unconditional (ie. when the last condition of your contract is satisfied). If it is not paid by the due date, the amount payable will begin to incur a daily Unpaid Tax Interest (UTI), the amount of which varies depending on transfer duty liability.

The majority of the time, settlement falls prior to this 30-day period expiring, and we arrange for pay the stamp duty at settlement.

If it is a longer settlement period and transfer duty becomes payable prior to settlement, it can be paid prior to settlement to avoid incurring any UTI.

Assessing and processing transfer duty is included when we do the conveyancing for your purchase. We can provide you with advice, assistance in claiming concessions and provide in-house transfer duty lodgement.

If you have any questions regarding transfer duty, please contact our team of property lawyers and conveyancing specialists.

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