8 June 2016 - 31 December 2016

Home buyer concession Scheme

Description

The Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS) is an ACT Government initiative administered by the ACT Revenue Office to assist persons in purchasing a new residential home or residential vacant land by charging duty at a concessional rate.  The concession ceased for the purchase of an established property as of 1 September 2012. 

The HBCS applies to property where the transaction date, which is the date of grant, transfer, or agreement for transfer (whichever is first) occurs between 8 June 2016 and 31 December 2016.  The concession applies to new or substantially renovated properties for transactions dated 8 June 2016 to 31 December 2016, total gross income threshold is currently $160,000.

For further details see: 

A successful application under the HBCS must comply with the following criteria:

  • be purchasing vacant land, a new or substantially renovated property between 8 June 2016 and 31 December 2016;
  • the HBCS application must be lodged within the required time;
  • applicants must satisfy a current and previous property ownership test;
  • the total value of the property must be less than the upper property value threshold amount;
  • the total gross income of all applicants must not be greater than the relevant total gross income threshold amount;
  • applicants must satisfy the residency requirements; and
  • applicants are required to be at least 18 years old. 

New or substantially renovated properties

A new or substantially renovated property includes:

  • a home that that has not previously been occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
  • is a substantially renovated home that, as renovated, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence;
  • vacant block that does not have a dwelling upon it;  or
  • property which is subject to an "off the plan" purchase agreement.

For an applicant to be eligible for the HBCS on the purchase of a new home, the home must not have previously been occupied, and the home must not have previously been sold as a place of residence. This is a two-limbed test where both conditions must be satisfied. Further information on new and substantially renovated properties can be found in Circular DAA014.2 [RTF, 249Kb], [PDF, 230Kb]

Application processing time

All applications must be received by the Access Canberra Dickson Shopfront on behalf of the Commissioner for ACT Revenue or mailed to PO Box 293 Civic Square ACT 2608 by the date the duty must be paid, that is within:

  • 90 days of the grant, transfer or agreement (whichever is first);  or
  • 14 days of the first occurrence of one 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.  Following acceptance of a late application, the Commissioner may reassess the duty liability in accordance with section 9 of the Taxation Administration Act 1999.

Current and previous property ownership

Applicants (and their domestic partners) must not hold or have held in the previous two years, an interest in any other land except where special circumstances apply.  These special circumstances are detailed in the Determination DI2016-77 (external site).

Property value threshold amount

The upper and lower value thresholds (from which the concessional rate of duty is calculated) for a new or substantially renovated residential home (eligible property) and residential land (eligible vacant block) are updated every six months (usually 1 January and 1 July) to ensure that they remain current.

The following property thresholds apply to new or substantially renovated properties purchased between 8 June 2016 and 31 December 2016.

Eligible property (new or substantially renovated residential home) 

Dutiable valueConcessional duty payable
$455,000 or less$20 (minimum duty)
more than $455,000 but less than $585,000$13.60 for each $100 or part thereof by which the dutiable value exceeds $455,000 ($20 minimum duty).
$585,000 or moreNo concession

Eligible vacant block (land with no dwelling)

Dutiable valueConcessional duty payable
$272,200 or less$20 (minimum duty)
more than $272,200 but less than $317,600$13.55 for each $100 or part thereof by which the dutiable value exceeds $272,200 ($20 minimum duty).
$317,600 or moreNo concession

Total gross income threshold amount

To be eligible for a duty concession, the total gross income test must be satisfied.  The combined total gross income of all applicants and their domestic partner/s over the 1 year period prior to the date of the grant, transfer or agreement for transfer (whichever is first) must be less than or equal to the relevant total gross income threshold as follows:

Number of dependent ChildrenTotal gross income threshold
0$160,000
1$163,330 
2$166,660
3$169,990
4$173,320
5 or more$176,650

Residency requirements

At least one applicant must occupy the home for a continuous period of at least twelve months, beginning within 1 year of settlement or completion of construction.

The Commissioner for ACT Revenue may extend the time for an applicant to meet the residency requirements, approve a shorter residency period, or exempt an applicant from the residency requirements.  The Commissioner’s discretion is:

  • limited to situations where the applicant is unable to reside in the property because of a compulsory or unforeseen circumstance (e.g. work or health related issues);  and
  • exercisable only where a written request to exercise the power is lodged with the Commissioner within 18 months of -
    • in relation to an eligible property - the date of the completion of the transfer of the subject property; or
    • in relation to an eligible vacant block - the date of the certificate of occupancy following completion of construction of the residence on the subject property.

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.

Making an application

For property granted, transferred or agreed to be transferred from 8 June 2016 to 31 December 2016 use the Home Buyer Concession Application form 8 June 2016 to 31 December 2016 [RTF, 964Kb], [PDF, 391Kb]

Information about the eligibility criteria applicable to grants, transfers or agreements for other time periods is available at Home buyer concession.

Relevant links