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 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 7 June 2017

The following changes to the HBCS affect transactions dated 7 June 2017 or later:

  • Substantially renovated homes are no longer eligible for the HBCS.
  • The one year period used to assess applicants’ income is now aligned to the previous financial year, rather than the one year leading up to the transaction date. This means that you no longer have to prove your gross income over part of a financial year.
  • HBCS 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

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

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

Successful applications for the HBCS need to meet the following general requirements:

  • you must be purchasing a new home or vacant land;
  • you must lodge your HBCS application within the required time;
  • your HBCS application must be completed by everyone who will own the property and their domestic partners;
  • the property’s total value must be less than the upper property value threshold amount (see tables 1 to 4 below);
  • all applicants must be at least 18 years old;
  • the total gross income of all applicants must not be greater than the relevant total gross income threshold amount (see Table 5 below);
  • all applicants must satisfy a current and previous property ownership test;
  • at least one applicant who will own the property must satisfy the residence requirements.
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 31 December 2017.

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 31 December 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 31 December 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

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 a duty concession, you must satisfy the total gross income test. The total gross income of all applicants over the full financial year before the transaction date must be less than or equal to the relevant total gross income threshold in Table 5 below.

    Table 5 – 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

    Applicants must not have owned any other properties in the two years leading up to the transaction date, with limited exceptions.

    Residence requirements

    At least one applicant who will own the property must live in the home continuously for at least a year, beginning within a year after the settlement date (for a new home) or the date the Certificate of Occupancy and Use is issued after completion of 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, an applicant who does 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.

    How to apply

    Keep in mind that the application period for the HBCS is limited; the ACT Revenue Office needs to receive your completed application by the date the duty must be paid, which is either:

    Everyone who will own the property must be part of the application, as well as the domestic partner of any owner, even if the partner will not be an owner. A domestic partner includes a spouse, civil union partner, civil partner or de facto partner.

    Please post your HBCS application form along with all the necessary supporting documents, at least 10 working days before you need approval. Incomplete applications delay processing time. Send the completed application to:

    ACT Revenue Office
    PO Box 293
    Civic Square ACT 2608

    You can also take your application to the Access Canberra Dickson shopfront:

    Environment, Planning and Land Shopfront
    Ground floor south
    Dame Pattie Menzies House
    16 Challis Street
    DICKSON ACT 2602

    Please also allow 10 working days before checking on your application’s status.

    What happens next?

    The standard time for processing applications is 10 working days once you’ve supplied all the necessary documentation. Incomplete applications will delay processing time. 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 by email or post.