ACT land tax applies to all residential properties that are not occupied by an owner as their principal place of residence.
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.
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 here.
For further assistance completing this form please contact our customer service contact centre on (02) 6207 0028.
Some properties are exempt from land tax. The main land tax exemption is for a property that’s your principal place of residence – that is, your main home. See circulars GEN011 Principal Place of Residence and LTA002 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).
Details of other exemptions are as follows:
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.
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.
The other types of land that are exempt from land tax are:
- non-rateable land
- rural land
- land owned by the Housing Commissioner
- retirement villages
- nursing homes
- religious institution
- land used for prescribed purposes
- development leases (broad acre subdivisions)
- land owned by a not-for-profit housing corporation
If you are currently paying land tax and believe you are eligible for one of these exemptions please email your request for exemption to PPD@act.gov.au.