7 June 2017 to 31 December 2017
The Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS) is an ACT Government initiative administered by the ACT Revenue Office to assist people in purchasing a new residential home or residential vacant land by charging duty at a concessional rate.
The information below applies to transactions with a transaction date between 7 June 2017 and 31 December 2017. The transaction date is the date of grant, transfer, or agreement for transfer, whichever occurs first (not the settlement date).
Changes from 7 June 2017
Please note that the following changes to the HBCS affect transactions dated 7 June 2017 or later:
- Substantially renovated homes will cease being eligible for the HBCS.
- The one year period used to assess applicants’ income is now aligned to the previous financial year, rather than the one year prior to exchange of contract. This will relieve applicants from the need to prove their income over part of a financial year.
- HBCS thresholds will be updated every three years, rather than every six months, on the basis of house price movements over a three year period. This will smooth out volatility caused by short-term movements in the property market.
Eligible transactions – new homes or vacant land
The HBCS applies to the purchase of a new home or a block of vacant residential land where the transaction date occurs between 7 June 2017 and 31 December 2017.
An ‘off the plan’ purchase agreement, where a home is built on the land before settlement of the agreement, is also eligible for the HBCS as a new home.
The transaction date is the date of grant, transfer, or agreement for transfer, whichever is first. The transaction date is the date of first execution of an agreement or transfer, not the settlement date.
A new home means a home that has not been previously occupied, and that has not previously been sold as a place of residence. This is a two-limbed test where both conditions must be satisfied. Vacant land means land without a home or other dwelling built on it.
As of 7 June 2017, purchases of substantially renovated homes are no longer eligible for the HBCS.
Making an application
For property granted, transferred or agreed to be transferred from 7 June 2017 to 31 December 2017, use the HBCS Application Form – 7 June 2017 to 31 December 2017.
All people who will have an interest in the property must be part of the application, as well as their domestic partners (whether or not they will have an interest in the property). A domestic partner includes a spouse, civil union partner, civil partner or de facto partner.
The application must be:
- received by the Access Canberra Dickson Shopfront on behalf of the Commissioner for ACT Revenue (the Commissioner); or
- mailed to the ACT Revenue Office at PO Box 293, Civic Square ACT 2608.
Information about the eligibility criteria applicable to grants, transfers or agreements for other time periods is available at Home buyer concession.
Application time limit
The application period is limited. All applications must be received by the Commissioner by the date the duty must be paid. That is, within:
- 90 days after the transaction date; or
- 14 days after the first of the events mentioned in section 16A (1) of the Duties Act 1999, for an off the plan agreement.
To enable applications to be processed efficiently, please submit complete applications together with all supporting documents at least 10 working days before approval is required. Incomplete applications will delay processing time.
Please allow 10 working days before checking on the status of your application. All applications accepted over the counter or mailed are subject to the same application processing time limits.
If an application is not received within the relevant timeframe, the Commissioner may accept the late application if it is considered fair and reasonable to do so.
A HBCS application will be approved if it complies with the following criteria:
- all applicants are purchasing a new home or vacant land between 7 June 2017 and 31 December 2017;
- the HBCS application has been lodged within the required time and completed by all parties;
- the dutiable value of the property is less than the upper property value threshold
- all applicants are at least 18 years old;
- the combined gross income of all applicants, in the previous financial year, is not greater than the income threshold
- all applicants satisfy a current and previous property ownership test; and
- at least one applicant can satisfy the residency requirements.
The upper and lower value thresholds for new homes and vacant land are updated every three years in June. The thresholds are used to calculate the concessional rates of duty under the HBCS.
The following thresholds apply to eligible properties purchased between 7 June 2017 and 31 December 2017.
Concessional duty payable
$470,000 or less
more than $470,000 but less than $607,000
$13.05 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $470,000 (minimum $20)
$607,000 or more
Concessional duty payable
$281,200 or less
more than $281,200 but less than $329,500
$13.05 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $281,200 (minimum $20)
$329,500 or more
Age of applicants
Applicants for the HBCS must be at least 18 years of age. The circumstances in which a concession may be paid to applicants who are under 18 years of age are limited.
Income of applicants
To be eligible for a duty concession, the total gross income test must be satisfied. The combined gross income of all applicants, over the full financial year prior to the transaction date, must be less than or equal to the relevant income threshold as follows:
Total dependent children of all applicants
5 or more
Property ownership requirements
Applicants must not have held, in the two years leading up to the transaction date, an interest in any other land. Limited exceptions apply, which are detailed in the Home Buyer Concession Scheme Determination – DI2017- 81 (external site).
At least one applicant occupy the home for a continuous period of at least one year, and must move into the home within one year after the date of completion of the transaction (for a new home) or the date the Certificate of Occupancy and Use is issued after a home has completed construction (for vacant land).
The Commissioner for ACT Revenue may exempt an applicant from compliance with these requirements, in full or in part, but only if:
- an applicant is unable to reside in the property because of a compulsory or unforeseen circumstance (e.g. health related issues); and
- a written request for exemption is lodged with the Commissioner within 18 months of the date of settlement or issue of the Certificate of Occupancy and Use.
In the absence of an exemption, failure to meet these requirements will render the applicant liable to pay full, non-concessional duty in relation to the transaction. Additional penalty tax or interest may also be payable.
- Home Buyer Concession Scheme application form – 7 June 2017 to 31 December 2017 [DOC,107KB] , [PDF,173KB]
- Revenue Circular/Information Sheet – New and Substantially Renovated Homes
- Home Buyer Concession Scheme Determination – DI2017-81 (external site)
- Record keeping
- Home buyer concession duty - Calculator