Stamp duty called one of Australia's most inefficient taxes

The Housing Industry Association of Australia (HIA) has thrown its support for a broad based debate on Australia's taxation system calling for the removal of a number of inefficient taxes including stamp duty.

Graham Wolfe, the Housing Industry Association's (HIA) Chief Executive Industry Policy and Media, said that Stamp duty is one of the most inefficient taxes in Australia.

"Stamp duty is not only an inefficient tax, it acts as a disincentive against employment mobility, and home 'right-sizing," he said.

The HIA says it is imperative that the Commonwealth Government in its review of taxation should target taxes levied on new homes.

"On virtually any basis of measurement and in both relative and absolute terms, the taxation burden borne by Australia's residential building industry is excessive," said Mr Wolfe.

"Australia needs a solid level of new affordable housing stock to house our growing population. But the taxes levied against new homes make the affordability challenge a bridge too far for too many families."

In Sydney, Mr Wolfe noted 40 per cent of the cost of a new home is made up of direct, indirect and hidden taxes.

The median house price in Sydney is now $640,000 according to recent report. This means that many first home buyers in Sydney are not eligible for any stamp duty concessions which cap out at $600,000 for new homes. According to Mozo's stamp duty calculator, the stamp duty for a $640,000 property is $25, 676 which includes a $102 mortgage registration fee and a $204 transfer fee. 

"The Governments review of our taxation system must inevitably cover the overall benefits of efficient broad based taxation options, including GST, if stamp duty and other inefficient taxes are to be removed," concluded Mr Wolfe.