Conveyance duty exemptions

Personal transfers

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property in the ACT that is transferred to a beneficiary, executor or administrator of a deceased estate, where the transfer is made under and inconformity with the trusts contained in the Will of the deceased person, Probate Application, Letters of Administration or Codicil of the estate.

If the property is only partly in conformity with a trust contained in the Will, then duty will be payable on the portion of the property that is transferring that wasn’t contained in the Will.  For example if someone is entitled to 50% of the property under the Will but wants to purchase the whole property, they will pay duty on the 50% that was not contained within the trust of the Will.

An application for exemption must include documents identifying the transfer is made under and in conformity with the Will, Probate Application or Letters of Administration of the deceased person.

In certain circumstances, a Codicil (A Codicil amends, rather than replace, a previously executed will.  Such amendments may add or revoke provisions of the Will) and deed of family arrangements may also be required to establish this transfer.

Find out if you're eligible

Reference Material

Information on the deceased estates exemption can be located using the information below:

Transfers by court orders

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property located in the ACT if the transfer is made under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cwlth) or the Married Persons Property Act 1986, or any other order of a court.

Transfers by court order are exempt from duty as it is for the distribution of property as a result on the end of a relationship between partners.

Transfers by Binding Financial Agreement

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property located in the ACT if the transfer is made under a Binding Financial Agreement under sections 90B, 90C or 90D of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cwlth) that states:

  1. The transfer is consequent on the dissolution, annulment or irretrievable breakdown of a marriage and that there is no likelihood or cohabitation being resumed; and
  2. The property is matrimonial property; and
  3. The transfer is to either party of the relationship or to children of the relationship or a person in trust for the children.

Transfers by Binding Financial Agreement

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property located in the ACT if the transfer is made under a Binding Financial Agreement under sections 90UB, 90UC or 90UD of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cwlth) that states:

  1. The transfer is consequent of the end of a de facto relationship between parties; and
  2. The property is relationship property; and
  3. The transfer is to either party of the relationship or to children of the relationship or a person in trust for the children.

Transfers by Binding Financial Agreement

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property located in the ACT if the transfer is made under a domestic relationship agreement, or a termination agreement under the Domestic Relationships Act 1994, if:

  1. The agreement is in writing and signed by each party; and
  2. The agreement is accompanied by certificates of independent legal advice provided to each party (section 33(1)(d); and
  3. The transfer is consequent on the end of the domestic relationship between parties; and
  4. The property is relationship property; and
  5. The transfer is to either party of the relationship or to children of the relationship or a person in trust for the children.

Find out if you're eligible

Reference Material

Information on the deceased estates exemption can be located using the information below:

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of residential property in the ACT to your partner, if the property is your principal place of residence, and the transfer results in the property being held by both parties as:

  1. joint tenants;
  2. tenants in common in equal shares; or
  3. tenants in common in shares that are proportionate to their contribution towards the purchase and improvement of the property or in such proportions as are prescribed.

Evidence required to establish transfer

A transfer of residential property to your partner resulting in the property being held by parties as joint tenants or tenants in common in equal shares, the following supporting documentation will need to be provided:

  1. Statutory declarations by both parties stating that the property being transferred is their principal place of residence and attesting to the date from which they have lived at the property.
  2. Documentary evidence fulfilling one of the following three categories:
  1. Marriage Certificate issued by a Registrar of Marriages; or
  2. Birth Certificate of a child of the parties; or
  3. each party to provide documentary evidence supporting the existence of a personal relationship demonstrated by a minimum of 3 of the following items:
  • Marriage Certificate issued by a Marriage Celebrant
  • Drivers’ licences and registration papers of the parties showing address of property
  • Property utility accounts (electricity, water, gas) in the name of the parties
  • Bank account statements
  • ACT Electoral Roll extract, and
  • ATO Tax assessment Notices for both parties for the last completed financial year.

Where the transfer results in the property being held by each parties proportionate to their contributions towards the purchase and improvement to the property, in addition to the above documents, the following must also be provided:

  • Evidence of cash or monetary contributions made towards the purchase of the property by both parties
  • Loan documents
  • Copies of any financial agreements between the parties, and
  • Bank accounts from which deposits and regular mortgage payments and other one-off payments for the purchase or subsequent improvements of the property, were made.

Find out if you are eligible

Reference Material

Information on transfers to partner – principal place of interest exemption can be located using the information below:

The purpose of this exemption is to assist families owning rural property in the ACT seeking relief from duty on the transfer of their rural property to younger generations, encouraging younger members of farming families to remain on the farm land, provided the land is used for primary production.

Applications for exemption must be made in the form of a letter to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue addressing each of the issues specified in the guidelines that are relevant to the transaction.  The application must also:

  1. identify the nature of the eligible transaction and provide all relevant supporting information relating to the transaction;
  2. provide an estimate of the value of the land; and
  3. where the transferor is a:
    • trustee of a discretionary trust or a trust for a named beneficiary - provide a copy of the stamped trust deed and any amendments;
    • trustee of a unit trust - provide copies of the stamped trust deed and the latest balance sheet of the unit trust; or
    • company - provide copies of the memorandum and articles of association, and the latest balance sheet of the company, together with a certified copy of the share register.

Transactions that qualify for this exemption

The following transactions relating to land used for primary production are eligible to apply for this exemption:

  1. a transfer of land;
  2. an agreement for the sale or transfer of land;
  3. a lease of land other than a Crown Lease; and
  4. a transfer or assignment of a lease or permit in respect of land.

Land used for primary production

The land to which the transaction relates to must be ‘land used for primary production’, which is land used primarily for:

  1. The cultivation of the land for the purpose of selling produce of the cultivation;
  2. The maintenance of animals or poultry on the land for the purpose of selling them or their natural increase;
  3. Keeping bee’s on the land for the purpose of selling their honey;
  4. A plant nursery;
  5. The propagation for sale of mushrooms, orchids or flowers; and
  6. Aquaculture.

The land must also be used for primary production by the transferor immediately before the transaction and the land must continue to be used for primary production by the transferee once the transaction is complete.

The exemption will not be granted if at the time of the eligible transaction, the primary production business is leased to a person who is not a descendant.

Parties to the transaction

The transferee, lessee or assignee must be a natural person who is a descendant of the transferor, lessor or assignor in accordance with the following table:

Transferor, lessor or assignor

Transferee, lessee or assignee

Natural person

Descendant of the transferor, lessor or assignor

For the purposes of this exemption, “descendant” means:

(a) child or stepchild;

(b) grandchild;

(c) brother or sister;

(d) niece or nephew; or the spouse of any of the above.

Proprietary limited company

Descendant of a shareholder or shareholders:

(a) where the shareholder or shareholders hold(s) the shares beneficially in the company;

(b) where the shareholder or shareholders is entitled to vote at meetings of the company;  and

(c) where the shareholder or shareholders was entitled (as a shareholder(s)) to at least 25% of the assets of the company on winding up, being an entitlement which existed for at least 3 years prior to the date of transfer, lease or assignment, unless the company was incorporated within 3 years of that date.

Trustee of a bare trust for named beneficiaries

Descendant of a named beneficiary of the trust

Trustee of a discretionary trust

Descendant of a person or persons who is or who are entitled (as takers in default of appointment) to at least 25% interest in the capital of the trust fund

Trustee of a private unit trust

Descendant of a unit holder or unit holder’s:

(a) where the unit holder/s holds the units beneficially in the unit trust; and

(b) where the unit holder/s was entitled (as unit holder/s) to at least 25% of the assets of the unit trust on winding up, being an entitlement which existed for at least 3 years prior to the date of transfer, lease or assignment unless the trust was established within 3 years of that date.

Other requirements

The transferee must take legal and beneficial ownership of the property.

The transferor may retain the farm house and the existing area of land on which the farm house is situated.

Application for exemption must be made in the form of a letter to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue addressing each of the issues specified in the guidelines that are relevant to the transaction.  The application must also:

  1. identify the nature of the eligible transaction and provide all relevant supporting information relating to the transaction;
  2. provide an estimate of the value of the land; and
  3. where the transferor is a:
    • trustee of a discretionary trust or a trust for a named beneficiary - provide a copy of the stamped trust deed and any amendments;
    • trustee of a unit trust - provide copies of the stamped trust deed and the latest balance sheet of the unit trust; or
    • company - provide copies of the memorandum and articles of association, and the latest balance sheet of the company, together with a certified copy of the share register.

Find out if you're eligible

Reference Material

Further information on the Intergenerational Rural Transfer Exemption can be located using the links below.

Conveyance duty is not imposed under this section if dutiable property in the ACT is transferred as a result of:

  1. The appointment of a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy; or
  2. The appointment of a liquidator; or
  3. To a former bankrupt from the estate of the former bankrupt.

An application for exemption must include documents identifying the transferor being placed in receivership and has a trustee in bankruptcy or a liquidator appointed.

Find out if you're eligible

Reference Material

Information on the bankruptcy or insolvency exemption can be located using the information below:

Trust transactions

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property to a person as a result of the retirement of a trustee or the appointment of a new trustee.

New or remaining trustees after the retirement of a trustee cannot become beneficiaries of the trust.

Find out if you're eligible

Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property between the following parties:

  • from a responsible entity (or their trustee) of a managed investment scheme to a custodian or agent of the responsible entity
  • from a responsible entity of a managed investment scheme to a custodian or agent of the scheme
  • from a custodian or agent of a responsible entity of a managed investment scheme as custodian or agent of the scheme of the responsible entity, and
  • for the transfer of dutiable property by a trustee of a registered scheme to a custodian or agent of the responsible entity of the scheme as custodian or agent of the scheme.
Find out if you're eligible

Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the declaration of trust made by an apparent purchaser in respect of identified dutiable property in the ACT if the property is vested in the apparent purchaser on trust for the real purchaser. The real purchaser must have also provided the funds to purchase the property.

Find out if you're eligible for this exemption.

Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property if:

  • dutiable property that was transferred to a person to be held by that person as trustee for the transferor is transferred back to the transferor by the trustee for no consideration, and
  • no other person had a beneficial interest in the dutiable property.

For this exemption, a trustee includes a trustee appointed in substitution for a trustee or a trustee appointed in addition to a trustee.

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Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of property to a beneficiary under and in conformity with trusts contained in a declaration of trust, provided that conveyance duty was paid on the initial declaration of trust over that property.

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Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed in respect of a declaration of trust:

  • that is made by a trustee in respect of dutiable property that, immediately before the trust is declared is held by the trustee as trustee of a responsible entity of a managed investment scheme, and
  • that is made for the purpose of holding the property on trust for the responsible entity of a managed investment scheme.
Find out if you're eligible

Reference material

Superannuation transactions

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of property from one superannuation fund to another if:

  • the transfer is made from a complying superannuation fund or a fund that was a complying superannuation fund within the 12 month period before the transfer was made, and
  • the transfer is made to a complying superannuation fund or to a fund that will be a superannuation fund within 12 months after the transfer is made, and
  • the transfer occurs due to a person ceasing to be a member of or ceasing to be entitled to benefits in respect of that fund.
Find out if you're eligible

Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on:

  • a transfer of dutiable property from a trustee of a relevant fund or trust to a custodian of the trustee of the fund or trust, if there is no change in beneficial ownership of the property; or
  • a transfer of dutiable property from a custodian of a trustee of a relevant fund or trust to a trustee of the fund or trust, if there is no change in beneficial ownership of the property; or
  • a transfer of dutiable property from a custodian of a trustee of a relevant fund or trust to another custodian of the trustee of the fund or trust, if there is no change in beneficial ownership of the property.

A complying superannuation fund includes a complying approved deposit fund and an eligible rollover fund.

A pooled superannuation trust means an entity that is a pooled superannuation trust under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cwlth).

A relevant fund or trust, in relation to the transfer of dutiable property means:

  1. a complying superannuation fund; or
  2. a pooled superannuation trust; or
  3. a fund or trust that will be a complying superannuation fund or a pooled superannuation fund within 12 months after the day the transfer takes effect.
Find out if you're eligible

Reference material


Crown lease exemptions

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the grant of a new Crown lease (new Crown lease) to a lessee under a previous Crown lease because of the surrender of the previous lease, if:

  • Changing the purpose for which the land comprised in the lease may be used
  • granting the lessee a longer leasehold interest in the land comprised in the lease
  • reducing rent to not more than 5 cents a year, and
  • correcting errors or omissions.

A Crown lease means:

  • a territory lease, and
  • includes a lease granted by the Commonwealth or the Federal Capital Commission.

Find out if you're eligible for this exemption.

Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the grant of a Crown lease (new Crown lease) on the surrender of a development lease if:

  • the new Crown lease is granted to the person who was the lessee under the development lease at the time of its surrender, and
  • all of the land in the new lease is the land that was comprised in the development lease.

A development lease is a Crown lease that is expressed to be granted for the purpose of developing the land comprised in the lease for subdivision and resale.

Find out if you're eligible for this exemption.

Reference material

Miscellaneous conveyance duty exemptions

A corporate reconstruction exemption is an exemption of duty on a transaction where dutiable property located in the ACT is transferred by a member of a group of corporations to another member of the same corporate group.

A corporate group means a parent company and subsidiary corporations that are at least 90% beneficially owned by the parent, either directly or indirectly.

A corporation also includes a unit trust scheme which at least 90% of the units are beneficially owned by members of the same corporate group.

Applying for a Corporate Reconstruction Exemption

An application for exemption must be made to the Commissioner addressing each of the issues specified in the guidelines that are relevant to the transaction, this includes:

  1. Transaction details identifying that the transaction arises from a corporate reconstruction.
  2. State the purpose of the corporate reconstruction.
  3. Indicate how the relevant corporations are eligible members of a corporate group.
  4. Include diagrams of the corporate group structure before and after the corporate reconstruction.
  5. Provide an estimate of the value of all dutiable property being transferred.
  6. Show that all members within the corporate group are eligible members and have been for at least 12 months. If they have been a member for less than 12 months a statutory declaration from the relevant directors of the company needs to be provided, stating:
    • The company had not traded before it became a member of the corporate group; and
    • Listing any dutiable property, relevant acquisitions and motor vehicles that had been acquired since the company has become a member of the corporate group.
  7. Include historical company extracts and searches from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and/or other documents that demonstrate:
    • At least 90% beneficial ownership, either directly or indirectly, by the parent;
    • That the parent company has voting control of the eligible members;
    • The dates and places of incorporation of the eligible members;
    • The company numbers and registered addresses of eligible members;
    • Identify the form of the execution clause/signature block of the ultimate parent company for the signing of any deed that may be required.

Applications may be made at any time prior to the relevant transaction, or within 1 year of the transaction taking place.

Approvals

Approvals for this exemption are granted on the condition that there has not or will not be any change in circumstances which would result in the application for exemption being declined.

The applicant must also lodge a written undertaking to advise the Commissioner if, within 12 months from the date of the eligible transaction, if the parent of the transferor or transferee of corporations:

  1. transfers shares (or units) in the corporation, or
  2. enters into an agreement to transfer shares (or units) in the corporation, or
  3. enters into any other transaction (other than a liquidation, deregistration or public float).

As a result the corporation will no longer remain a member of the corporate group and will pay the full duty together with any interest and/or penalty tax, that would have been payable.

Reference Material

Further information on Corporate Reconstruction Exemptions can be located using the information below.

Conveyance duty is not imposed on a grant of a Crown lease to a non-commercial Commonwealth authority or in respect of a grand or transfer of land to a hospital, school or a trustee in trust for a hospital or school.

A non-commercial Commonwealth authority means a body corporate (other than an incorporated company, society, or association) that:

  • is incorporated for a public purpose by or under a law of the Territory or the Commonwealth; and
  • does not have as its sole principal function the carrying on of an activity in the nature of a business, whether or not for profit.

Find out if you're eligible for this exemption.

Reference material

Duty is not payable on the transfer of land made in accordance with the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009(Cwlth).

Find out if you're eligible for this exemption.

Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the grant or transfer of land to a prescribed person.

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Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of a unit if the transfer is part of an arrangement under which the transferee will take an interest in the unit similar to an in substitution for the interest the transferee had under the land use entitlement immediately before registration of the units plan.

Find out if you're eligible for this exemption.

Reference material

Conveyance duty is not imposed on the transfer of dutiable property to:

  • a State
  • Territory
  • a prescribed authority of the Commonwealth
  • entities for community housing, and
  • special disability trusts.

Find out if you're eligible for this exemption.

Reference material