Land tax

Notifications and exemptions

ACT land tax applies to all residential properties that are not occupied by an owner as their principal place of residence.

Notifications

You will need to notify us that you have a land tax liability if you:

  • Own a property that is rented or becomes rented
  • Own a property that has been left vacant or becomes vacant
  • Rent a dwelling on the same property as your principal place of residence (like a granny flat)
  • Own a property as a trustee

A foreign ownership surcharge is also applied to all ACT residential properties owned by a foreign person, who is not ordinarily resident in Australia. The Land Tax Notification Form should also be used to notify us if you are liable for the surcharge.  Further information on what constitutes a foreign owner can be found here.

Use this form to notify us of your land tax liability, including the foreign ownership surcharge.


What happens once you have submitted your Notification Form?

On submitting your Notification Form you will receive an email verification from our Office, together with a copy of your submission. This will be emailed to your nominated email address. You will receive your Land Tax Notice of Assessment when your first quarter liability arises. This will be sent to the postal address nominated on your notification form. Alternatively, you can register here to have your Notices sent by email.

Not sure if you have a land tax liability? To help you work out your liability you can complete the Land Tax and Foreign Ownership Questionnaire.

For further assistance completing this form please contact our customer service contact centre on (02) 6207 0028.

Exemptions

Some properties may be exempt from land tax. The majority of exemptions are self-assessed. This means that you are required to determine your own eligibility and notify our office if you are not liable to pay land tax. There are also a number of exemptions which you will need to apply to our office to receive.

Self-assessed exemptions are as follows:

Principal place of residence

This is the main land tax exemption and applies to a property that's your principal place of residence - that is, your main home. See circulars GEN011 Principal Place of Residence and LTA001.1 Land Tax Exemptions for further information.

You don’t have to pay land tax on your principal place of residence if you were residing in it on the first day of the quarter (1 July, 1 October, 1 January or 1 April).

Moving into your home

When you buy a home as a principal place of residence, the home is exempt from land tax for the first full quarter after settlement. You must move into the home within 3 months of that date. You can leave the home vacant before you move in, but it cannot be rented.

The exemption also applies if you stop renting a home to make it your principal place of residence. You must move into the home within 3 months of the date that it stops being rented.

Moving out of your home

If you move out of your principal place of residence, it will remain exempt from land tax for the first full quarter after you move out. During this time, the property may be left vacant or sold, but cannot be rented to a tenant. If the property becomes rented in this time you will need to notify our Office.

Deceased estates and life tenants

The former principal place of residence of a deceased owner is exempt from land tax for up to 2 years after the date of the owner’s death, or until it is transferred to a beneficiary of the deceased owner’s estate or becomes rented.

Homes occupied by a person with a life or term interest under a will are exempt from land tax.

Unfit for occupation

A home that is unfit for occupation as a place of residence is exempt from land tax. This exemption applies if your home is under construction, being significantly renovated, or has been damaged. The home must be unable to be lived in or rented during this time.

Nil or nominal rent arrangement

If your home is occupied by a person rent-free, it is exempt from land tax. This includes any family members, friends or guests that live in the property for free.

If the occupant does pay you rent, the rent must only cover the cost of rates, repairs, maintenance or insurance in relation to the property. Payments for other expenses, such as the mortgage, will be taken to be a rental arrangement and land tax will apply.

Land use

The following parcels of land are exempt from land tax in accordance with sections 10 and 11 of the Land Tax Act 2004 (external site).

  • rural land
  • land owned by the Housing Commissioner
  • Transfers etc. to entities for community housing
  • retirement villages
  • nursing homes
  • religious accommodation
  • land used for prescribed purposes
  • development leases (broad acre subdivisions)
  • land owned by a not-for-profit housing corporation

Use this form to notify the office that you are no longer liable for land tax


Upon submitting your Land Tax Self-Assessed Exemption Form, you will receive an email verification acknowledging that you have self-assessed your eligibility for a land tax exemption, together with a copy of your submission. This will be emailed to your nominated email address.

Your land tax account will then be updated to reflect the exemption you have self-assessed your eligibility for and you will cease receiving land tax notices.

You may be asked to demonstrate your eligibility for the exemption you have claimed. As such, you are required to keep supporting documentation for a period of not less than five (5) years from the date you submit your Land Tax Self-Assessed Exemption Form. Examples of supporting documentation for the various exemption types can be found here.

You must notify our office within 30 days and provide full details of any change in circumstance that may affect your land tax liability.

Applications must be received by our office for the following land tax exemptions:

Compassionate cases

If other exemptions don’t apply, you can seek an exemption from land tax on compelling compassionate grounds. This exemption can be sought for any home you own, such as a vacant property that you’re unable to occupy.

Exemptions for compassionate reasons are granted for periods of up to 1 year.

Extension of 2 year deceased estate exemption

The former principal place of residence of a deceased owner is exempt from land tax for up to two (2) years after the date of the owner’s death, or until it is transferred to a beneficiary of the deceased owner’s estate or becomes rented. Before the two (2) year period ends, the personal representative may apply, in writing, to the commissioner to extend the period.

An application for an extension of this exemption is dependent on the property not having been rented since the date of the owner’s death; and the property not being registered in the name of a person other than the deceased owner or the deceased owner’s personal representative.

The commissioner must also be  satisfied that a person is occupying the parcel of land as the person’s principal place of residence; and the person is likely to receive an interest in the parcel in accordance with the deceased’s owner’s estate.

Use this form to apply to the office for a land tax exemption


What happens once you have submitted your exemption application form?

Upon submitting your Land Tax Exemption Application Form you will receive an email verification from our Office, together with a copy of your application. This will be emailed to your nominated email address.

Your application will be assessed by our office and you will receive written notification advising you of the outcome.

If your application is successful, your land tax account will be updated to reflect the exemption you have applied for and you will cease receiving land tax notices.

You must notify our office within 30 days and provide full details of any change in circumstance that may affect your land tax liability.