That’s why using the Mozo ACT stamp duty calculator is a simple, hassle-free solution which will show you all the stamp duty costs you’ll need to pay. Once you’ve punched your own figures into the calculator you’ll be given three fees which make up your total ACT stamp duty cost:
Stamp duty, is this a tax?
If you ever decide to buy a property in the ACT you’re going to pay stamp duty. But what exactly is it? Also known as conveyance duty, stamp duty is a form of tax you pay on the property you buy - that applies to residential homes and land, as well as commercial property. Aside from covering the cost of legal documents, stamp duty, like other forms of tax, is used as a revenue raising mechanism by state and territory governments to fund infrastructure and services.
The stamp duty rate you pay differs from state to territory, so if you’re buying on the other side of the border in New South Wales, or in another part of Australia, you’ll need to calculate stamp duty based on a different rate.
ACT stamp duty rates and the payment system itself have actually recently been reformed, with what’s known as the ‘Barrier Free Conveyancing’ model introduced in September 2017. The new model was designed to simplify the process by reducing the number of steps involved, meaning transactions can (in theory) be processed faster.
From July 2017, ACT stamp duty rates also changed, but you can check out the most recent rates in the table below. Just remember, if you’d rather make things easy for yourself just plug your own figures into the calculator above and let the Mozo ACT stamp duty calculator do the math for you.
Does the ACT offer stamp duty exemptions?
In short, yes it does. There are a number of exemptions on stamp duty offered in the ACT including:
Future first home buyers
From July 1 2019, first home buyers in the ACT with a household income below $160,000 will be eligible for a full exemption from paying stamp duty. The change was announced as part of the 2018-19 ACT Budget and will apply to purchases of both new and established homes.
If a property is transferred in full to a beneficiary, executor or administrator as part of a deceased estate the recipient will be exempt from paying stamp duty in the ACT. However, this changes if someone was apportioned less than 100% of the property. For example, say the beneficiary of a will received 50% of a property but wanted to buy out the remaining 50%. In this case, stamp duty would need to be paid on the second 50% and a Transmission Application form would need to be completed by the buyer.
Spouse Principal Place of Residence Transfers
Another stamp duty exemption in the ACT comes if you’re transferring residential property to your partner - which includes a spouse, civil union partner, civil partner or a de facto partner. This only applies to property which is your principal place of residence and results in it being held by both parties either as:
- Joint tenants
- Tenants in common in equal share
- Tenants in common in shares that are proportionate to your contribution towards the purchase and improvement of the property
There are also a number of other ACT stamp duty exemptions for buyers, including matrimonial transfers, intergenerational rural transfers well as exemptions relating to trusts and superannuation, so make sure you visit the ACT Revenue Office for all the ins and outs.
Are there any ACT stamp duty concessions?
As well as exemptions, certain buyers may be eligible to receive stamp duty concessions in the ACT:
Home buyer concession scheme
Under the Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS), buyers who purchase a new home (including ‘off the plan’ homes) or vacant land may be eligible for a concessional stamp duty rate if their property falls within the eligible threshold and they meet personal requirements including an income test.
There are a variety of different concessional categories and brackets, so make sure you have a read through all the details to see if you qualify.
Pensioner duty concession scheme
Eligible pensioners in the Australian Capital Territory who are looking to downsize from their existing property by purchasing a smaller home may also be able to access a concessional rate on the stamp duty they need to pay. In order to qualify, applicants must meet the full pensioner requirements, and their property value must fall within one of the stamp duty concession brackets.
Disability duty concession scheme
Announced in 2016, the ACT’s Disability Duty Concession Scheme (DDCS) is aimed at incentivising adults with long-term and permanent disabilities to purchase property in the ACT via a stamp duty exemption. The scheme applies to homes (both new or established) and blocks of vacant residential land, but there are a number of requirements for applicants which can be found in full over at the ACT Revenue Office website.
What about ACT stamp duty concessions for first home buyers?
Currently there are no specific concessions on stamp duty for first home buyers in the Australian Capital Territory, though they may qualify for a concession under the Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS) mentioned above. However, from July 1 2019, first home buyers with a combined household income of $160,000 or below will have their stamp duty completely waived following a policy change outlined in the 2018-19 ACT Budget.
Eligible buyers may also be able to access the ACT First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) which currently sits at $7,000 as well as taking advantage of the Federal Government’s First Home Super Saver Scheme which is available nationwide. However, from July 1 2019, the ACT First Home Owner Grant will be abolished.
Can I defer stamp duty in the ACT?
Buyers under the ACT’s First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) or Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS) may be able to apply for a deferment on their stamp duty payment. In order to qualify for deferment, the buyer and property must meet a number of other requirements including:
- The cost of stamp duty on the applicable property must be $1,000 or more.
- The property price must be below the current $607,000 threshold for Home buyer concession scheme (HBCS).
- Everyone named in property transfer (including their “non applicant domestic partner” in some cases) must meet the criteria of either the HBCS or FHOG.
How do I pay ACT stamp duty?
Under the new Barrier Free Conveyancing model, home buyers won’t have to pay their ACT stamp duty until after settlement, at which point they’ll have 14 days to make a payment through Access Canberra once they’ve received their notice of assessment. Buyers can choose between paying through BPAY or via an EFT payment, but interest will apply if the payment is late.
Just bear in mind that when setting up an application through the Access Canberra portal, including making your ACT stamp duty payment, you’ll need to verify your identification with a birth certificate, passport, citizenship certificate or ImmiCard.
How can I reduce my home loan costs?
While you won’t be able to avoid paying stamp duty on your home (unless you qualify for an exemption or concession), one of the best ways you can reduce the costs of buying a property is by grabbing a great home loan deal.
Whether you’re a first home buyer, an investor or a family upgrading to a larger house, finding the best value home loan for your own situation could mean a difference in the tens of thousands of dollars saved over the life of your loan.
Not convinced? Take this example. Say you’ve got your eye on a property in Canberra which is priced at $700,000, so you’re looking to take out a home loan worth $560,000. The first mortgage provider you see is offering a 4.25% interest rate which, according to the Mozo home loan repayments calculator, means you’d pay a total of $350,120 in interest over a 25 year loan period if you were making monthly repayments.
However, the second provider you look at offers you a slightly lower interest rate of 4.00%, making monthly repayments on that $560,000 loan over the same 25 year period. With this providers interest rate you’d end up paying a total of $326,766 in interest over the life of the loan, or just under $25,000 less - a massive difference!
So what are you waiting for? With Mozo’s unique home loan comparison tables you can compare hundreds of different home loan interest rates from a range of mortgage providers to find a great value deal which could potentially save you thousands on your own ACT property.
Where can I compare home loan interest rates?
Let’s face it, there are a number of hurdles you’ll need to get through when it comes to purchasing your first home n the ACT - but choosing the right home loan interest rate doesn’t have to be one of them. In fact, our Home Loans Interest Rates Page does all the hard work for you, by comparing interest rates from a range of lenders in the Mozo database.