Disability duty concession scheme
The ACT Government announced the Disability Duty Concession Scheme (DDCS) as part of the 2016-17 Budget. The DDCS encourages adults with a long-term and permanent disability, who may otherwise rely on government accommodation, to find long‑term accommodation to suit their needs.
If you’re eligible, the DDCS exempts you from having to pay conveyance duty if you have a long-term and permanent disability and you want to purchase a home as your principal residence. It’s available to ACT residents who have qualified for an individual funding package under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). NDIS participants are individuals with a long-term and permanent intellectual, physical, sensory or psychiatric disability that significantly impacts their level of function.
Changes from 18 September 2017
The ACT Government has introduced the Barrier Free model for duty as part of its tax reform. For transactions dated 18 September 2017 or later, the DDCS can be claimed when lodging a transfer of home for registration at Access Canberra. An application with supporting documents is no longer required.
The DDCS can apply to the purchase of a home (new or established) or a block of vacant residential land with a transaction date of 1 July 2016 or later. The transaction date is the date of grant, transfer, or agreement for transfer (whichever is first - not the settlement date).
To claim the DDCS, you need to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- you must qualify for an individual funding package as an NDIS participant
- you must lodge your DDCS application within the required time
- the total value of the home (house and land) must be $750,000 or less
- you must acquire at least a 51 per cent interest in the home
- you and your partner (if any) must meet the home ownership test
- you must meet the residence requirements.
A partner includes your spouse, civil union partner, civil partner or de facto partner.
You and your partner cannot have owned any land or property - other than the home you’re buying under the DDCS - in the two years leading up to the transaction date.
This requirement doesn’t apply to the property that you or your partner must give up ownership in because of any of the following:
- a court order
- a financial agreement or part VIIIAB financial agreement under the Commonwealth’s Family Law Act 1975
- a written domestic relationship agreement or termination agreement under the Domestic Relationships Act 1994
- an agreement to purchase another home in the two years leading up to the transaction date that was subsequently cancelled.
If you’re eligible for the DDCS, you must live in the home as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least one year, beginning within one year of the settlement date or the date the construction of your new home is complete.
The Commissioner for ACT Revenue can exempt you from the residence requirements, in full or in part, but only if:
- you cannot live at the home because of an unavoidable or unforeseen circumstance, such as a health-related issue; and
- you request an exemption in writing no later than 18 months after:
- the settlement date (for an eligible home)
- the date you receive the Certificate of Occupancy and Use once construction of the new home is finished (for vacant land).
If you have any concerns about your residency, you should contact us as early as possible.
To apply for the DDCS, you also cannot have previously received a concession under the:
- Home Buyer Concession Scheme;
- Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme; and
- Over 60s Home Bonus Scheme (which ceased on 31 December 2016).
How to claim – transactions from 18 September 2017
From 18 September 2017, you do not need to fill out an application for the DDCS; you can self-assess your eligibility. You can find out your eligibility for the DDCS and the documents you need to keep at Find out if you’re eligible .
If you’re eligible, you should claim the DDCS concession code on the transfer instrument you lodge for title registration at Access Canberra.
You do not need to give us any other documents at this time.
If you do not claim the DDCS concession code on the transfer instrument, you can submit a late claim for the DDCS using the Late Application for Home Buyer Assistance SmartForm . When we receive your claim, we will issue you a notice of reassessment with the concession applied.
What happens next?
When you claim the DDCS on a transfer, we’ll issue you a Notice of Assessment for duty with the concession applied. This will reduce the amount of duty you have to pay to zero and you do not have to take further action.
After you’ve received your assessment, we may contact you to verify your eligibility for the concession. For example, we may require you to give us copies of any documents that support your eligibility, or we may ask you to prove your residency at the home. You need to keep copies of your supporting documents for at least five years after the transaction.
We review claims and conduct investigations into the DDCS on an ongoing basis.
How to claim – transactions before 18 September 2017
For transactions dated before 18 September 2017, you have a limited window to apply for the DDCS. The ACT Revenue Office has to receive your completed application by the date the duty must be paid, which is 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.
Please use the SmartForm to submit your HBCS application along with all the necessary supporting documents, at least 10 working days before you need approval. Incomplete applications delay processing time.
Late DDCS applications for transactions dated before 18 September 2017 can be submitted through the SmartForm.
You will need to upload the following supporting documents:
- Conveyance Lodgement Form (if available)
- the contract for sale and transfer, or the grant of Crown lease and the application to register the Crown Lease
For more information about transactions dated before 18 September 2017, visit our Transactions before 18 September 2017 page.
What happens next?
The standard time for processing applications is 10 working days once you’ve supplied all the necessary documentation. Please also allow 10 working days before checking on your application’s status. We’ll let you know the result of your application in writing.