Conveyance duty

Transactions before 18 September 2017

The ACT Government introduced the Barrier Free model for duty as part of its tax reform on 18 September 2017.

Dutiable transactions with a transaction date of 17 September 2017 or earlier are subject to special rules. The transaction date is the date of grant, transfer, or agreement for transfer (whichever is first – not the settlement date).

New stamping procedures for pre-barrier free documents

As of 24 September 2020, a new electronic approval process has been established between the ACT Revenue Office and the ACT Land Titles Office regarding Pre Barrier Free ‘stamping’ of instruments for settlement purposes.

These measures now enable the ACT Revenue Office to better cater to the needs of our customers who require service from staff who are working remotely at a time when many customers are also seeking to work remotely.  They also enable contactless stamping of documents and remove the need for customers to have documents physically stamped at the ACT Land Titles Office following its move to a new counter facility.

  • Requests should be emailed to duties@act.gov.au with supporting documents attached in order for their conformity with ACT Revenue data to be verified.
  • An Authority email, which will include a unique number assigned in relation to each particular transfer instrument in accordance with Section 239 of the Duties Act 1999 will be emailed in return and also provided to the Land Titles Office.
  • This authority email will constitute evidence of authorisation by the ACT Revenue Office for the transfer instrument to be taken as stamped.

Any document discrepancies noted by the Land Titles Office will be clarified directly with the ACT Revenue Office.

If you paid duty before 18 September 2017

If you’ve already paid duty on the transaction, you do not have to take further action.

If you lodged documents before 18 September 2017 but haven’t paid duty yet

You need to pay duty to us, either:

  • within 90 days of the transaction date, or
  • for an off-the-plan agreement, within 14 days of whichever comes first:
    • the agreement is completed
    • the buyer’s interest is transferred
    • it’s been one year since the date of the agreement, or
    • a Certificate of Occupancy and Use has been issued.

If you received a Notice of Assessment before 18 September 2017, we’ll issue you a new Notice of Assessment with unique electronic payment details to pay your duty liability online.

The details in the original Notice of Assessment issued for your transaction, including the due date and your timeframe to lodge an objection, remain unchanged.

After making payment you’ll need to take your Notice of Assessment to the Dickson Access Canberra Environment, Planning and Land Shopfront to collect your documents and have them stamped.

If you haven’t lodged documents yet

You need to lodge your contract to buy the property to us, and pay duty, either:

  • within 90 days of the transaction date, or
  • for an off-the-plan agreement, within 14 days of whichever comes first:
    • the agreement is completed
    • the buyer’s interest is transferred
    • it’s been one year since the date of the agreement, or
    • a Certificate of Occupancy and Use has been issued.

You must lodge your contract using the SmartForm, attaching copies of your supporting documentation. This includes the contract to purchase the property and the transfer instrument. If you’d like to apply for a home buyer concession or exemption you can do so using the same SmartForm and attach the required supporting documentation to your submission. This application must be lodged within the time specified above, or it will be treated as late.

After you lodge your contract, we’ll create a Notice of Assessment and email it to you (and your agent, if you have one). The Notice of Assessment will state:

  • the parties to the transaction
  • details of the transaction
  • how much duty you have to pay
  • payment methods for duty
  • your unique payment reference number.

Visit our How to pay page for more information on paying your duty.

After you’ve paid us the duty, you should take your documents and your Notice of Assessment to Access Canberra Dickson to have the documents stamped.

Your contract and transfer must be stamped before Access Canberra will put the property title in your name. For more information see the latest version of Revenue Circular Barrier Free Model – Transactions Before 18 September 2017 (DAA019).