7 June 2017 to 31 December 2017
The Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme (PDCS) assists eligible pensioners, who own a residential home, to move to accommodation more suited to their needs (e.g. from a house to a townhouse) by reducing the duty payable on their new purchase of a residential home or residential vacant land.
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 PDCS affect transactions dated 7 June 2017 or later:
- An exception will apply to the property requirements where a relationship has ended and one of the former partners relinquishes their interest in the former property under a court order or binding agreement. The former partner will be eligible for the PDCS for a property purchased in their name only.
- PDCS 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 – homes or vacant land
The PDCS applies to the purchase of an eligible home (including a new or established 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 PDCS.
Making an application
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 Pensioner duty concession.
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
- for an off the plan purchase agreement – within the time that duty is payable for the agreement. This is 14 days after the first of the events mentioned in section 16A (1) of the Duties Act 1999 or a maximum time of 1 year and 14 days after the transaction date.
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 PDCS application will be approved if it complies with the following criteria:
- all applicants are purchasing an eligible home or vacant land between 7 June 2017 and 31 December 2017;
- the PDCS 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;
- at least one applicant is an eligible pensioner;
- all applicants satisfy a 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 PDCS.
The following thresholds apply to eligible properties purchased between 7 June 2017 and 31 December 2017.
Concessional duty payable
$680,500 or less
more than $680,500 but less than $895,000
$15.75 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $680,500 (minimum $20)
$895,000 or more
Concessional duty payable
$361,700 or less
more than $361,700 but less than $434,500
$14.15 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $361,700 (minimum $20)
$434,500 or more
At least one applicant for the PDCS must be an eligible pensioner as at the transaction date.
An eligible pensioner is a person:
- in receipt of an Australian age pension (Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs equivalent) who holds a pensioner concession card; or
- in receipt of a disability support pension, of 50 years of age or more, who holds a pensioner concession card; or
- who has held a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card for one year leading up to the transaction date.
Applicants must not hold an interest in any other land as at the date of the transaction, except the property being purchased and the former property from which they are moving.
The former property must be sold within one year after the date of completion of the transaction (for an eligible home) or the date the Certificate of Occupancy and Use is issued after a home has completed construction (for vacant land).
Where the applicant has sold the former property before purchasing the eligible home or vacant land, the sale must have occurred no more than one year before settlement or completion of construction.
The ownership of the property being purchased must also be in the same name or names as the property being sold.
Limited exemptions apply to these requirements. The applicant may be required to lodge a written request for exemption with the Commissioner within 18 months of settlement or completion of construction. Exemptions are detailed in the Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme Determination – DI2017-NNN (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 a 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 completion (for a new home) or the date the Certificate of Occupancy is issued after a home has completed construction (for a vacant land).
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.
An applicant for the PDCS cannot be a previous recipient of the Over 60s Home Bonus, and cannot receive the PDCS more than once.
- Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme application form 7 June 2017 to 31 December 2017 - [DOC,87KB] , [PDF , 140KB].
- Revenue Circular/Information Sheet – New and Substantially Renovated Homes
- Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme Determination – DI2017-82 (external site)
- Record keeping
- Pensioner Duty concession duty - Calculator