Conveyance duty, commonly known as stamp duty, is a tax you pay when you buy property in the ACT, whether it’s a home, land, or a commercial property. As part of the 2019-20 Budget, the government is continuing to reduce conveyance duty rates for residential properties.
Commercial properties with a dutiable value of $1,500,000 or less will pay no conveyance duty. Where the value is greater than $1,500,000 a flat rate of five per cent will apply.
Calculating your duty
The amount of duty you pay depends on the property’s purchase price or market value.
- If you buy a property that already has a building on it, you pay duty on the combined value of the house and the land. This includes a home purchased under the land rent scheme.
- If you buy a block of land that doesn’t have a house on it, but the seller is building one on the land before you settle as part of your contract, you still pay duty on the combined value of the house and the land. Examples include house-and-land packages and off-the-plan property purchases.
If you buy land under one contract and arrange to build a house on the land under a separate contract, you pay duty on the land contract only. This also includes land under the land rent scheme.
Duty rates and thresholds depend on the date of your transaction. The transaction date is the date of the grant, transfer or agreement for transfer – whichever comes first. It’s not the settlement date.
Use our calculator below to get an estimate of the duty you will pay. Keep in mind that this tool should serve as a guide only.
- The Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme
- Home Buyer Concession Scheme
If you’re buying a home, land or both, you may be eligible for a stamp duty concession through one of the following:
An application is not required to claim most concessions and exemptions. Once you determine your eligibility you can claim it on the forms you lodge at Access Canberra in Dickson. If we need to see your supporting documents, we’ll contact you after the transaction is finished.
Proof of identity
Access Canberra requires you provide proof of your identity through a Buyer Verification Declaration before you lodge the transfer. All identification must be valid and current.
Individuals (including individuals as trustees) must provide details from two different identification documents: primary and secondary. Foreign citizens holding a visa must supply visa details.
Companies and corporate trustees must provide an ABN.
You pay duty when the title to your property is registered at Access Canberra in Dickson (the end of the transaction), rather than when you exchange contracts (the beginning of the transaction). You self-assess the duty that you must pay.
You only need to pay duty to the ACT Revenue Office after you register the title to your property at Access Canberra in Dickson.
After the settlement date of your contract, you have (and your agent has) 14 days to lodge your transfer instrument for title registration with Access Canberra in Dickson. Penalty tax may be applied if the transfer is lodged late.
Remember you will need to complete the Buyer Verification Declaration before you lodge the transfer instrument at Access Canberra in Dickson. Don’t forget to claim your concession or exemption, if you’re eligible, by entering the concession code number on the Buyer Verification Declaration before you lodge for registration.
Once Access Canberra accepts and registers your title, we’ll email a Notice of Assessment to you and your agent, if applicable. The Notice of Assessment will state:
- the parties to the transaction
- details of the transaction
- how much duty you must pay
- payment options
- your unique payment reference number.
If there are two or more taxpayers, we’ll email the notice to the person whose name appears first on the transfer.
If you’ve claimed a concession or exemption, it will show up on the notice as a reduced amount of duty. You’ll be advised of your ongoing eligibility requirements if it’s relevant (e.g. residency requirements).
Payment must be made in 14 days and can be made by BPAY or Electronic Funds Transfer. Interest applies to late payments.
You’ll need to keep all records of the transaction for at least five years after settlement, in case we request copies. Be sure that all the details on your transfer and other documentation are true and correct; giving false or misleading information is a serious offence. If you’ve underpaid duty, we may impose interest or penalty tax.
Paying duty – transactions before 18 September 2017
Different rules apply to transactions where you signed the contract before 18 September 2017. See the Transactions before 18 September 2017 page for more information.