Home buyer concession scheme

The Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS) is an ACT Government initiative to help people purchase residential land or a home by charging conveyance duty at a concessional rate. The ACT Revenue Office administers the scheme.

Transaction date

The HBCS applies at different levels depending on the transaction date, which is the date of grant, transfer, or agreement for transfer (whichever is first – not the settlement date).

Changes from 18 September 2017

The ACT Government has introduced the Barrier Free model for duty as part of its tax reform. The following changes to the HBCS affect transactions dated 18 September 2017 or later:

  • The HBCS can be claimed when lodging a property transfer for registration at Access Canberra. An application with supporting documents is no longer required.
  • $20 minimum duty has been abolished.

Eligible transactions

The HBCS can apply to the purchase of a new home or a block of vacant residential land.

A new home means a home that has not been previously occupied, and that has not previously been sold as a place of residence. This is a two-limbed test where both conditions must be satisfied.

An ‘off the plan’ purchase agreement, where a home is built on the land before settlement of the agreement, is treated as a new home under the HBCS.

Vacant land means land without a home or other dwelling built on it.

As of 7 June 2017 a substantially renovated home is no longer eligible for the HBCS.

Eligibility

To claim the HBCS, you need to meet the following general requirements:

  • you must be purchasing a new home or vacant land
  • the home’s total value must be less than the upper property value threshold amount (see tables 1 to 6 below)
  • all buyers of the home or land must be at least 18 years old
  • the total gross income of all buyers including their partners (if any) must not be greater than the relevant total gross income threshold amount (see Table 5 below)
  • all buyers including their partners (if any) must satisfy a current and previous home ownership test
  • at least one buyer must satisfy the residence requirements.
  • A partner includes your spouse, civil union partner, civil partner or de facto partner.

Are all purchasers and their domestic partners first home buyers?

Thresholds

We update the upper and lower property value thresholds for new or substantially renovated homes and residential land every three years and calculate the concessional rate of duty based on these thresholds.

Tables 1 and 2 below show the dutiable value and concessional duty payable for transactions dated 1 January 2017 to 6 June 2017.

Tables 3 and 4 show the dutiable value and concessional duty payable for transactions dated 7 June 2017 to 17 September 2017.

Tables 5 and 6 show the dutiable value and concessional duty payable for transactions dated 18 September 2017 to 30 June 2020.

Table 1 – New or substantially renovated home – 1 January 2017 to 6 June 2017

Dutiable value

Concessional duty payable

$468,000 or less

$20 (minimum duty)

More than $468,000 but less than $590,000

$14.70 for each $100 (or part of $100) that the dutiable value is more than $468,000 ($20 minimum duty)

$590,000 or more

No concession

Table 2 – Vacant land – 1 January 2017 to 6 June 2017

Dutiable value

Concessional duty payable

$280,000 or less

$20 (minimum duty)

More than $280,000 but less than $323,300

$15.55 for each $100 (or part of $100) that the dutiable value is more than $280,000 ($20 minimum duty)

$323,300 or more

No concession

Table 3 – New home only – 7 June 2017 to 17 September 2017

Dutiable value

Concessional duty payable

$470,000 or less

$20 (minimum duty)

More than $470,000 but less than $607,000

$13.05 for each $100 (or part of $100) that the dutiable value is more than $470,000 ($20 minimum duty)

$607,000 or more

No concession

Table 4 – Vacant land – 7 June 2017 to 17 September 2017

Dutiable value

Concessional duty payable

$281,200 or less

$20 (minimum duty)

More than $281,200 but less than $329,500

$13.05 for each $100 (or part of $100) that the dutiable value is more than $281,200 ($20 minimum duty)

$329,500 or more

No concession

Table 5 – New home only – 18 September 2017 to 30 June 2020

Dutiable value

Concessional duty payable

$470,000 or less

$0 (zero duty)

More than $470,000 but less than $607,000

$13.05 for each $100 (or part of $100) that the dutiable value is more than $470,000 ($20 minimum duty)

$607,000 or more

No concession

Table 6 – Vacant land – 18 September 2017 to 30 June 2020

Dutiable value

Concessional duty payable

$281,200 or less

$0 (zero duty)

More than $281,200 but less than $329,500

$13.05 for each $100 (or part of $100) that the dutiable value is more than $281,200 ($20 minimum duty)

$329,500 or more

No concession

CALCULATE YOUR CONVEYANCE DUTY

1
2
The greater of purchase price or market value
enter an amount. e.g. 455000
Date of grant, transfer or agreement for transfer (whichever is first)
Are you applying for the Home Buyer Concession Scheme?
Are you applying for the Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme?
Duty payable
You could be eligible for
  • The Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme
  • Duty concession:
    Duty payable with concession
  • Home Buyer Concession Scheme
  • Duty concession:
    Duty payable with concession
This calculation is based on

    Income requirements

    To be eligible for the HBCS you must satisfy the total gross income test. The total gross income of all home buyers and their partners (if any) over the full financial year before the transaction date must be less than or equal to the relevant total gross income threshold in Table 7 below.

    Your partner’s income must be included, even if the partner will not be an owner of the home.

    Table 7 – Total gross income threshold amount

    Number of dependent children

    Total gross income threshold

    0

    $160,000

    1

    $163,330

    2

    $166,660

    3

    $169,990

    4

    $173,320

    5 or more

    $176,650

    Property requirements

    Every buyer of the home must not have owned any other properties in the two years leading up to the transaction date, with limited exceptions. This requirement also applies to the partner of a buyer, even if the partner will not be an owner of this home.

    Residence requirements

    At least one person who will own the home must live in the home continuously for at least one year, beginning within one year after the settlement date (for a new home) or the completion of the new home’s construction (for vacant land).

    The Commissioner for ACT Revenue can exempt you from the residence requirements, in full or in part, but only if:

    Without an exemption, buyers who do not meet the residence requirements will be liable to pay full, non-concessional duty in relation to the transaction. Penalty tax or interest may also apply if the requirements are not met.

    If you have any concerns about your residency, you should contact us as early as possible.

    How to claim – transactions from 18 September 2017

    From 18 September 2017, you do not need to fill out an application for the HBCS; you can self-assess your eligibility. You can find out your eligibility for the HBCS and the documents you need to keep at Find out if you’re eligible .

    If you’re eligible, you should claim the HBCS concession code on the transfer instrument you lodge for registration at Access Canberra.

    You do not need to give us any other documents at this time.

    If you do not claim the HBCS concession code on the transfer instrument, you can submit a late claim for the HBCS 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 HBCS 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 based on the value of the home. You have 14 days to pay any remaining amount.

    If the Notice of Assessment has a nil balance, 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 HBCS 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 HBCS. We must receive your completed application by the date the duty must be paid, which is either:

    Everyone who will own the home must be part of the application, as well as the partner of any owner, even if the partner will not be an owner.

    Use the Late Application for Home Buyer Assistance SmartForm to submit your HBCS application along with all the necessary supporting documents, at least 10 working days before you need approval. Incomplete applications will delay processing time.

    Late HBCS applications for transactions dated before 18 September 2017 can be submitted through the SmartForm.

    For more information 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 allow 10 working days before checking on the status of your application. We’ll let you know the result of your application in writing.