Pensioner duty assistance

Pensioner duty concession scheme

The Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme (PDCS) assists eligible pensioners who own a residential home, to move to accommodation more suited to their needs – for example, moving from a house to a townhouse by reducing the conveyance duty payable on their purchase of a residential home or residential vacant land.

The ACT Government announced the PDCS will be extended to 30 June 2020 however the property thresholds will change. In addition, pensioners receiving a partial duty concession may also be eligible to defer any remaining duty payable if they have at least 75 per cent equity in the property they acquire.

Eligibility

Pensioners who purchase a home (includes a new or established home) or a block of vacant residential land may be eligible for the PDCS. Pensioners may also be eligible for homes purchased ‘off the plan’ (where a home is built on the land before settlement of the agreement), if they enter into an agreement for the sale or transfer of the home by 30 June 2020 .

To claim the PDCS, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • The home's total value must be less than the upper property threshold  value.
  • At least one buyer of the home must be an eligible pensioner.
  • All buyers and their partners (if any) satisfy a home ownership test (a partner includes your spouse, civil union partner, civil partner or de facto partner).
  • At least one buyer must satisfy the residence requirements.
  • The former property must be sold within 1 year before or after the registration date.

An exception to the property requirement applies when a relationship has ended and one of the former partners relinquishes their interest in the former home under a court order or binding agreement. The former partner will be eligible for the PDCS for a home purchased in their name only.

Eligible pensioner

You are an eligible pensioner if, on the transaction date:

  • you receive an Australian age pension from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
  • you receive a disability support pension from Centrelink and are at least 50 years old, or
  • you have held a DVA Gold Card for at least one year before the transaction.

Thresholds

The PDCS 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). We calculate the concessional duty based on the thresholds below for transactions:

Property valueDuty payable

$680,500 or less

$20.00 minimum duty

More than $680,500 but less than $895,000

$15.75 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $680,500 ($20.00 minimum duty)

$895,000 or more

No concession

Land valueDuty payable

$361,700 or less

$20.00 minimum duty

More than $361,700 but less than $434,500

$14.15 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $361,700 ($20.00 minimum duty)

$434,500 or more

No concession

Property valueDuty payable

$680,500 or less

$0

More than $680,500 but less than $895,000

$15.75 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $680,500

$895,000 or more

No concession

Land valueDuty payable

$361,700 or less

$0

More than $361,700 but less than $434,500

$14.15 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $361,700

$434,500 or more

No concession

Property valueDuty payable

$680,500 or less

$0

More than $680,500 but less than $895,000

$15.05 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $680,500

$895,000 or more

No concession

Land valueDuty payable

$361,700 or less

$0

More than $361,700 but less than $434,500

$13.35 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $361,700

$434,500 or more

No concession

Property valueDuty payable

$420,000 or less

$0

More than $420,000 but less than $530,000

$11.55 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $420,000

$530,000 or more

No concession

Land valueDuty payable

$277,200 or less

$0

More than $277,200 but less than $385,000

$6.95 for every $100, or part of $100, by which the dutiable value exceeds $277,200

$385,000 or more

No concession

Home ownership

You must be the owner of an existing home in Australia (your old home) to be eligible for the PDCS. You cannot own any other land or property at the transaction date other than the old home you’re moving out of and the new home you  acquire under the PDCS. An exception applies if you acquire a property as an executor or trustee under a will.

You must sell your existing home when you buy the new home.

  • If you sell your existing home first, the sale cannot take place more than a year before the registration of the new home in your name at Access Canberra in Dickson.
  • If you buy the new home first, you have a year after registration of the new home to sell the existing home.

Also, to be eligible for the PDCS, the new home you’re buying must be in the same name or names as the home you’re selling.

Residency requirements

At least one buyer must live in the home continuously for at least a year. They must commence residence within one year of either the settlement date (for an eligible 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:

  • you cannot live in 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 do not meet the residence requirements you will be liable to pay full conveyance duty in relation to the transaction unless an exemption is granted. 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.

Previous concessions

You’re not eligible for the PDCS if you’ve previously received the Over 60s Home Bonus. You cannot receive both the PDCS and the Over 60s Home Bonus.

How to claim

You do not need to fill out an application for the PDCS; you can self-assess your eligibility.

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

You do not need to give us any other documents currently.

If you do not claim the PDCS concession code on the transfer instrument, you can submit a late claim for the PDCS 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.

How to claim transactions before 18 September 2017

For information on how to lodge transactions dated before 18 September 2017 visit the Barrier free conveyancing page.

What happens next?

When you claim the PDCS 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 PDCS on an ongoing basis.