There are limited exemptions to paying land tax for residential properties that are not occupied by an owner as their principal place of residence.
The majority of exemptions are self-assessed. This means that you must determine your eligibility for the following exemptions and tell us only if you are liable to pay land tax.
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).
When you buy a home as your principal place of residence, you do not have to pay land tax for the first full quarter after settlement. You must move into the home within 3 months of that date, but if you rent it you must pay land tax.
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 three months of the date that it stops being rented.
If you move out of your principal place of residence, it will be 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 if you rent it you must pay land tax.
The former principal place of residence of a deceased owner is exempt from land tax for up to two 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.
You do not have to pay land tax on your former principal place of residence for up to two years if it is unoccupied because you can no longer live independently and now live:
- at a hospital or hospice as a patient
- at an approved mental health facility or approved community care facility
- at a nursing home
- with a carer who provides care to you and is eligible for a carer payment under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cwlth).
The two year period commences from the time you move out of your property for assisted living . If the property is occupied at any time during the two year period (for example, if it is rented), it is no longer exempt from land tax.
If you are eligible for this exemption but you have already paid land tax, you can let us know and seek a refund by writing to email@example.com or via post to PO Box 293, Civic Square ACT 2608.
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.
If your home is occupied by a person rent-free, you do not have to pay land tax.
If the occupant does pay you nominal rent (only enough to cover the cost of rates, repairs, maintenance and insurance for the property) you do not have to pay land tax. If the rent is above this amount land tax will apply.
The following parcels of land are exempt from land tax:
- 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 us that you have a change of circumstances and now exempt from land tax.
When we receive this form, we will update your land tax account to reflect the exemption and you will cease receiving land tax notices.
We may ask you to demonstrate your eligibility for the exemption you have claimed. As such, you must keep supporting documentation for five years from the date you submit your Land Tax Self-Assessed Exemption Form.
You must tell us within 30 days and provide full details of any change in circumstance that may affect your land tax liability.
New land tax exemption pilot scheme for affordable community housing
From 28 March 2019, property owners may be eligible for a land tax exemption when they rent their property through a registered community housing provider for affordable community housing purposes.
This is a limited exemption available for a pilot period until 30 June 2021 for up to 100 ACT properties.
This scheme is administered jointly by the ACT Revenue Office, which has responsibility for the land tax exemption, and the Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, which has responsibility for community housing provider arrangements.
To be eligible, you must:
- have entered into an agreement with a registered community housing provider to make their property available for affordable community housing
- have rented their property at a rate that is less than 75 per cent of the current market rent
- have rented to a tenant or tenants whose combined income is within the income limits for a household set by the Commonwealth National Rental Affordability Scheme, and
- provide to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue information that demonstrates compliance with these criteria no later than 14 days before the start of a quarter. Each quarter starts on the first day of the quarter (i.e. 1 January, 1 April, 1 July, and 1 September).
If you qualify for this exemption, complete the Affordable Community Housing Land Tax Exemption Form and attach the signed agreement with the registered community housing provider.
You should complete this form as soon as possible after you have a signed agreement with the registered community housing provider. Forms completed and received in the last two weeks of a quarter will not get processed until the following quarter.
Other land tax exemptions
You must apply to us if you think you are eligible for the following land tax exemptions.
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 one year.
The former principal place of residence of a deceased owner is exempt from land tax for up to two 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 year period ends, the personal representative may apply, in writing, to the commissioner to extend the period.
To apply for an extension of this exemption, the property must not have been rented since the date of the owner’s death, and must not have been 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 property as their 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.
To apply to for a land tax exemption, fill out the
We will assess your application and provide you with written notification of the outcome.
If your application is successful, we will update your land tax account 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.