What are the changes proposed for 2021?
In November, the NSW government detailed plans to phase out stamp duty as part of its 2020/21 budget measures. The proposal would give homebuyers a choice between paying a lump sum in the form of stamp duty or a smaller annual land tax. The current stamp duty concessions available to first home buyers would also be replaced with a $25,000 grant.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has said tax reform of this kind is long overdue, and could inject as much as $11 billion into the economy over four years and generate 75,000 new jobs. The NSW government will conduct a public consultation lasting until March 2021, and the changes could be implemented by the second half of 2021.
What exactly is stamp duty?
Stamp duty, also known as transfer duty, is a tax that a property buyer in NSW has to pay in the following circumstances:
- A sale or transfer of land
- A sale or transfer of business assets
- A declaration of trust over dutiable property
How is stamp duty in NSW calculated?
Stamp duty is calculated on the total dutiable value of the property subject to the transaction. The current rates and thresholds in NSW for stamp duty include:
Source: NSW Government Revenue Taxes and Duties
What will determine the amount of stamp duty I pay?
Once you start to have a play with our stamp duty calculator, you’ll notice there are a few things that go into determining the price of stamp duty in NSW, they include:
- The property’s value
- Whether the property will be your primary residence or an investment
- The type of property purchase for example, vacant land, off-the-plan or if the building already exists.
- If you are a first home buyer. This is to determine whether you will be eligible for any concessions or exemptions.
Once you fill in all the blanks, our calculator will pull up an estimation of your stamp duty charge, taking into account of any concessions or exemptions applicable to your circumstances.
Does NSW have any stamp duty concessions?
Yes, first homebuyers in NSW receive certain concessions and exemptions from stamp duty as part of the First Homebuyers Assistance scheme. They include:
- Stamp duty exemptions for properties valued under $650,000
- Stamp duty concessions for properties valued between $650,000 and $800,000
- If purchasing a block of land, valued up to $350,000, there is no stamp duty
- If purchasing a block of land valued between $350,000 and $450,000, stamp duty concessions apply
However, in order to be eligible for these exemptions and concessions, you will need to meet certain First Home Buyer requirements, such as:
- Neither you or your partner have previously benefited from the First Homebuyers scheme
- You must also be over 18
- Be a permanent Australian resident
- Have occupied the dwelling within 12 months of purchasing it
In addition to stamp duty concessions, another policy that was designed to provide further assistance for first homebuyers in NSW and to encourage the building of dwellings is the First Home Owners Grant. This allows first homebuyers in NSW to be entitled to a $10,000 grant to those building a new home valued up to $750,000 and to buyers purchasing a home worth $600,000.
But if you aren’t from NSW, you still may be eligible for other exemptions or concessions that apply in your state. You can check out our other stamp duty state-based pages here.
Are there any other stamp duty concessions in NSW?
Yes, if the property is being is transferred because the owner has passed away or is getting divorced in NSW there is an exemption from stamp duty.
Are there any other fees associated with stamp duty?
Yes, in addition to paying stamp duty you’ll also need to pay a transfer fee and a mortgage registration fee. A transfer fee is the fee charged by the NSW Government that covers the title of your new property, while a mortgage registration fee covers the cost of registering your home loan.
For instance, say you purchased a property worth $800,000 in NSW and are a first home buyer, you would have to pay a $139 transfer fee and a $139 mortgage registration fee in addition to the $31,490 stamp duty.
But you won’t have to worry about calculating these amounts, as our calculator above will automatically tell you the cost of these fees, fitting it into your total stamp duty cost.
Who charges stamp duty?
Stamp duty in NSW is charged by the NSW Office of State Revenue. Since this money is a tax, it will go towards the NSW Government and will be put back into the economy to fund public sectors, like roads and transport or emergency services.
When do I have to pay stamp duty in NSW?
Stamp duty must be paid within three months from the time you purchased the property. If you are buying a property in NSW ‘off the plan’, you will also need to pay stamp duty within three months from the date of:
- The completion of the agreement
- The assignment of the purchaser’s interest in the agreement
Will I get a refund if the sale is cancelled?
Yes, the transfer will no longer be liable for duty if the sale is cancelled. To apply for a refund, you will need to complete the Application for Reassessment and Refund: Cancelled Agreements for the Sale or Transfer of Dutiable Property form. This can be accessed on the NSW Office of State Revenue (OSR) website.
Keep in mind that you will need to submit your refund application within 5 months of the initial assessment or 12 months after the agreement is cancelled or annulled.
What are the other costs will I need to prepare for when buying a home in NSW?
While many would agree that home ownership is a milestone, it’s one that does not come cheap. If you are planning to purchase a property, you will also need to factor the following costs into your budget:
- Home Insurance - While you won’t have to worry about having contents insurance policy until after the property is yours, you should know that home insurance may be a requirement in your mortgage contract.
- Property valuation fee - This involves an expert documenting specific details of the property in order to give an estimation of the property’s worth.
- Building inspection fee - This inspection is to determine whether the building meets building code requirements.
- Loan establishment fee - This covers the cost of setting up the documentation and files needed for your home loan.
- Pest inspection fee - This inspection is to ensure that there are no termites in the property or that the property does not have termite damage.
Is there anywhere else I can save on my new home?
While you can’t change the cost of stamp duty, you can choose who you want to take out your home loan with. And since there are hundreds of options floating around, how do you know which loan is right for you and will save you in the long run?
Our home loan comparison tool takes the hassle out of finding the perfect loan by comparing over 500 loans from 80 lenders, from big banks to credit unions. But if you’re really looking to narrow down your search, our home loan search tool can give you a more personalised result.
Where can I compare home loan interest rates?
Purchasing your first home can be an exciting, yet financially intensive period in someone’s life. But despite having to cough up for things like fees and stamp duty, it is still possible to save in some areas. Choosing a home loan with a low interest rate can reduce the amount of interest you pay and shrink your repayments. Our Home Loans Interest Rates page can help you find the right home loan interest rate for you.