General information

What is land tax?

Land tax is a general revenue measure that is used by the Government to provide a range of essential services to the ACT Community.

Land tax is imposed under the Land Tax Act 2004.  The marginal rates used to calculate land tax are determined under the Taxation Administration Act 1999.

Who pays land tax?

Generally, land tax applies to all residential properties that are rented.

If you own a residential property that is rented, you are liable for land tax on that property.  This also applies to boarding houses and multiple dwellings, including dual occupancies and granny flats that are rented.  Rent can include cash, services or any other valuable consideration earned in respect of a property for which any form of tenancy arrangement exists.

Residential properties owned by a trust or a corporation are also liable for land tax, even if they are not rented.

Commercial properties are not subject to land tax since 1 July 2012.

Responsibilities of owners, agents and trustees

You are required to advise the Commissioner for ACT Revenue, in writing within 30 days, if a residential property you purchase, or have an interest in, is rented or becomes rented.  You are also required to advise the Commissioner in writing of any future changes in circumstances that may render any such property liable for land tax within 30 days of the change occurring.  Failure to provide the required information is a tax default and you may incur interest and penalties in addition to the primary tax.  Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence.

Agents may be required to fulfil any undischarged obligations of a taxpayer where the agent has possession, control or management of the taxpayer's business or property.  Any information regarding land tax liability must be notified in writing.

An individual that owns a residential property under a Trust must notify the Commissioner, in writing within thirty days, of the date when they became an owner as trustee.

Exemptions

Residential land used as a retirement village, nursing home, or by a religious institution to provide accommodation to a member to perform their duties, is exempt from land tax.  Other exemptions from land tax include:

  • land used for rural purposes;
  • broad-acre subdivision;
  • a property with a guardian or manager for a person with a legal disability;
  • residential land owned by a trustee under a will of a deceased person and occupied by a life tenant;
  • residential land owned by a trustee or a guardian on behalf of a person with a legal disability;  and
  • residential land owned by a not-for-profit housing corporation.

An exemption on compassionate grounds may be available for up to one year on a residential property that is rented where the Commissioner for ACT Revenue is satisfied that the owner (a natural person) is temporarily absent because of a compelling compassionate reason.  You must apply in writing to the Commissioner for consideration of your case.

Exemption from land tax on residential land owned by a building or land development corporation can apply for two years from the first quarter after the date of ownership if constructing new residential premises that are to be sold when finished.

Builder’s Land Tax Exemption

Residential land owned by a building or land development corporation may be eligible for a two-year land tax exemption. The exemption will only apply if the corporation constructs new residential premises on the parcel of land, which will be sold by the corporation when construction is complete. If eligible, the exemption begins on the 1st day of the 1st quarter after the corporation becomes the owner of the parcel of land. The exemption does not apply automatically, and an application for the exemption must be submitted to the ACT Revenue Office. The application form can be found here [RTF, 420Kb], [PDF, 509Kb].

Relevant links

Previous page Land tax .......... Next page Land tax calculation

Exchange of information

To assist in the identification and assessment of ACT taxes and grants we exchange information with other Revenue Offices and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 

The exchange of information with other Revenue Offices is in accordance with part 9 of the Taxation Administration Act 1999 (ACT) and similar legislation in the States and the Northern Territory.  The exchange of information with the ATO is in accordance with subsection 355-65 (5) Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth).