Transfer or stamp duty, is it the same thing?
Yes, stamp duty is more commonly known in QLD as transfer duty. It’s a one-off government charge you will have to pay once you purchase property or land, regardless of whether it will be used for residential, commercial or investment purposes.
Who do I pay stamp duty to?
Stamp duty in Queensland will need to be paid to the Office of State Revenue. Stamp duty is considered a tax, so the money will be used to fund different public sectors, such as transport, health and emergency services and education.
However before you make your payment, you will need to submit all the necessary documents and applications for assessment. These documents will also need to be submitted to the Queensland Office of State Revenue or a registered assessor, like a solicitor.
Once all your documents have been assessed, stamp duty will need to paid within 30 days.
You have four payment options to pay your stamp duty in QLD, they include:
- Credit card
- Telephone or internet banking
- Electronic funds transfer (ETF)
- Cheque or money order
How is stamp duty calculated in Queensland?
Stamp duty is calculated on the market value of the property, so the more expensive the property, the larger your stamp duty payment will be. But you are able to roughly estimate your duty cost based on number of factors, which include:
I’m a first homebuyer, do I still have to pay stamp duty?
If you are a first homebuyer in Queensland, you may be able to claim a stamp duty concession or exemption, however, you will need to meet specific eligibility requirements, which are that you:
- Have never claimed the first home vacant land concession
- Have never held a financial interest in residential land anywhere in the world
- You are buying a new home under $550,000
- You plan to use the property as your primary residence
The QLD Government has a first home duty rate, which has different tiers depending on how much the property is. In addition to this, there is an extra concession which gets applied. For more information about how this amount is calculated, you can visit the home transfer duty concession rates page.
But to give you an example of how it works, say you were purchasing a property worth $530,000, the concession amount on the first $350,000 would be $3,500. The remaining $180,000 balance would then incur a stamp duty amount of $6,300, making the total home concession amount $9,800.
Now that you have the home concession amount, it is then deducted from the first home concession rate, which for a property valued at $530,000 is $3,500, making your total stamp duty amount $6,300.
In Queensland, there is also the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) - a government initiative aimed to ease the financial burden for first home buyers. If you are purchasing a property valued at under $750,000, you may receive a grant of $15,000 or $20,000 - depending on your contract date.
Are there any stamp duty exemptions or concessions in QLD for other buyers?
Yes, even if you are not a first homebuyer you are still able to claim on other stamp duty concessions, such as:
- The home concession - This is a concession geared towards current homeowners, looking to purchase another property, who will receive a lower rate of duty.
- The first home vacant land concession - This is a concession that can be claimed if you are purchasing a vacant block of land valued between $250,000 and $399,999.
There is also an automatic stamp duty exemption in the following circumstances:
- A transfer between spouses or partners
- A transfer between spouses separating or divorcing
- When buying a mobile or manufactured home
- A change of tenure
What if I’m a foreign buyer, does stamp duty still apply?
Yes, but foreign buyers planning to purchase a home in QLD will also face an ‘additional foreign acquirer duty’ (AFAD), which is an additional 7% charge of the value of the property. So say you purchased a home worth $700,000, you would have to pay a total of $40,480, compared to a regular first home buyer who would pay $19,480 in stamp duty.
Are there any other fees associated with stamp duty?
Yes, there is also a mortgage registration and transfer fee attached to stamp duty. A mortgage registration fee is the cost to create all the needed documentation and files once you get a home loan, while a transfer fee is the cost to move the property title from the previous owner to the new one.
Can my stamp duty payment ever be refunded?
Yes, there are circumstances in which your stamp duty can be refunded in Queensland. This may involve a decrease on your dutiable transaction after it is submitted for assessment. If this does occur, you will need to lodge the original stamped documents again along with written evidence for reassessment.
You may also receive a refund on your stamp duty if the sale is cancelled, however you will need to submit certain documents, such as a reassessment application for cancelled stamp duty and a completed statutory declaration from each party and a dutiable transaction statement.
Is stamp duty only applicable to Queensland buyers?
No, stamp duty is a nation-wide government charge, but there are differences between each state. If you’d like to find out how stamp duty varies between states, you can check out our state-based stamp duty pages here:
What are the other costs will I need to prepare for when buying a home?
Once you become a homeowner, you’ll find that there are many other expenses that need to be factored into your budget. Some include:
- Loan establishment fee - This is fee you will pay to have all the documentation and files made up once your home loan is approved.
- Property valuation fee - This is the cost to cover an expert estimating your property’s worth.
- Building inspection fee - To ensure that your property meets the building code requirements, you will need to pay an expert to take down your property’s details.
- Pest inspection fee - A pest inspection will make sure that your home is free from termites and that is hasn’t suffered any previous termite damage.
- Home Insurance - Depending on your mortgage contract, having home insurance may be a requirement.