Do Expats Qualify for a Stamp Duty Discount?

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Did you know you will need to pay up to 6.5% of your property’s value in land transfer duty fees? This cost will reach tens of thousands of dollars for most Australians, with exact fees varying from state to state.

You could enjoy a stamp duty discount or exemption if you meet specific eligibility criteria in certain states. 

But, where do you stand as an Expat in Australia? How much stamp duty will you need to pay and are you eligible for any discounts?

What Is Stamp Duty In Australia?

Stamp duty in Australia is a property transaction tax. It is a fee that you must pay when you buy a property over a specific property market value.

Stamp duty is also called transfer duty, depending on the state or territory you are buying a property in.

How Is Stamp Duty Calculated In Australia?

The amount of stamp duty you will need to pay is calculated as a percentage of the property’s value. Different states and territories use different percentages, with fees rising considerably for the most expensive properties.

For example, let’s say you are buying a property in Australia for $600,000. It is an established home and you will live in the property as your primary residence. In addition, you are not a first home buyer, nor are you a foreign buyer. How much will you need to pay in stamp duty fees?

Based on these assumptions, you will need to pay the following stamp duty fees in the relevant states and territories:

State or Territory

Stamp Duty Fee

VIC

$31,069 

NT

$29,700

SA

$26,830

WA

$22,987

TAS

$22,497

NSW

$22,305

ACT

$14,680

QLD

$12,850

For the same valued property in the same circumstances, stamp duty fees can vary widely due to local government regulations. However, when will you need to pay stamp duty?

When Do I Need to Pay Stamp Duty?

Most Aussies pay their stamp duty fees when the property transaction is complete. After all, they have factored the fee into their budget so it is wise to pay the costs as soon as possible!

However, in most states, you will have a certain period to pay the stamp duty fees. 

The most generous state is New South Wales which grants you 90 days from the settlement date to pay the duty. However, Southern Australia requires payment of stamp duty on the day of the settlement.

State or Territory

When Should I Pay Stamp Duty?

VIC

30 days from the settlement date

NT

60 days from settlement or entering the transaction

SA

Due on the day of settlement

WA

60 days from settlement date

TAS

90 days from settlement date

NSW

90 days from settlement date

ACT

28 days from settlement date

QLD

30 days from the settlement date

Are there any discounts available to lower the cost of the stamp duty payable?

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Are Stamp Duty Discounts Available In Australia?

Stamp duty discounts, incentives, and full exemptions are available in some Aussie states in some circumstances. 

For example, across most states, first home buyers can apply for the First Home Owner Grant and receive a grant worth $10,000 to $15,000. The house you are buying must be new and under a specific threshold, however. 

Other discounts and exemptions are also available. Here are the most notable stamp duty concessions and exemptions currently available in relevant states.

NSW

First home buyers are fully exempt from paying stamp duty in NSW if the property value is $650,000 and under. 

When purchasing a more expensive property between $650,001 to $799,999, you may be able to receive a substantial discount. Once again, this is for first home buyers.

Unfortunately, there are no discounts available for first home buyers purchasing a property over $800,000.

VIC

Victoria offers first home buyers full stamp duty exemption for properties valued at $600,000 and below. 

A concession may be granted to first home buyers who purchase a home valued between $600,001 and $749,999. However, no discounts are granted on homes valued at $750,000 and above.

Victoria does provide concessions for other types of homeowner, however, such as pensioners and farmers, and those buying a home off-plan.

QLD

When buying a home under $500,000 in Queensland, first home buyers can enjoy a stamp duty exemption. 

Concessions are available for first home buyers and properties valued between $500,001 and $549,999.

WA

Western Australian first home buyers can enjoy a stamp duty exemption when buying a home under $430,000. 

First home buyers in Western Australian can apply for a healthy stamp duty concession for properties valued between $430,000 and $530,000.

NT

Northern Territory also offers first home buyers stamp duty exemption when buying a property valued under $430,000. 

If your NT property is valued between $430,000 and $650,000 as a first home buyer, you will receive a discount of $18,601.

In addition, pensioners, seniors, and carers may be eligible for stamp duty discounts in Northern Territory.

SA

If you are hoping to buy a property in South Australia, there are no exemptions or concessions, even for first-home buyers.

TAS

You can receive a 50% discount on stamp duty fees for properties in Tasmania, providing you are a first home buyer.

Additional discounts are available for pensioners and other categories.

ACT

If you are buying a property off-plan in the Australian Central Territory, you can enjoy a full stamp duty exemption on properties valued under $600,000.

You must intend to live in the property as your primary residence for at least 12 months after settlement, however. In addition, your income must reach no higher than $160,000.

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Can I Qualify for a Stamp Duty Discount as an Expat?

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you will qualify for a stamp duty discount as an Expat! Providing you are a first home buyer and you also meet any additional requirements. 

For example, you must be aged 18 or over and have never received similar assistance before. Additionally, you must intend to live in the property as your main residence.

If you are moving back to Oz, ask your Odin Mortgage broker about stamp duty discounts you are eligible for. 

We are Expat experts who guide Aussie citizens and permanent residents to buy property in Australia. As Australian Credit Licence holders, you can trust our advice to get you the best home loan approval and discover the discounts you are entitled to!

Are Stamp Duty Discounts Available to Foreign Nationals in Australia?

There are no stamp duty discounts available to foreign nationals Downunder, regardless of first home buyer status. Remember that you are classed as a foreign buyer if you do not hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency, regardless of living overseas.

Unfortunately, foreign nationals need to pay additional fees on top of the standard stamp duty cost when buying an Aussie property.

Foreign Stamp Duty Surcharge

Foreign nationals will need to pay between 7% and 8% surcharge on top of the standard stamp duty fees. This amount is a percentage of the property’s value and varies according to the state you are buying a property in.

Most states charge a 7% surcharge, although this rises to 8% in New South Wales and Victoria. There is no foreign buyer surcharge in Northern Territory, Australian Central Territory, or Tasmania, however.

Foreign Investment Review Board

As a foreign buyer, you will need permission from the FIRB to buy a property in Australia. The application itself will cost several thousand dollars, rising considerably for more expensive properties.

You must follow the correct procedure and seek permission to buy an Aussie property, however. You may face imprisonment of up to 10 years and a $3,300,000 fine if you breach this requirement.

Find out what a mortgage broker can do for you! Our service is free for you to use so find out who Odin Mortgage is today!

Odin Mortgage will help you discover how much you will need to pay when buying a home in Australia, concerning your unique circumstances.

Use our Stamp Duty Calculator today to find out how much stamp duty you will need to pay! This will include a foreign stamp duty surcharge and total any discounts for Aussie citizens or permanent residents!

Contact Odin Mortgage Now!

Request a call from Odin Mortgage and begin your journey to home loan approval, or refinance to a lower rate! We will compare the latest home loan interest rates to find you the best deal and incentives available.

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Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you negotiate stamp duty fees?

No, stamp duty fees are universal across the state or territory and cannot be negotiated. 

Odin Mortgage’s expert brokers can search through all discounts and incentives to ensure you have applied for every possible incentive, however.

Will I Need to Pay Stamp Duty on Vacant Land?

Yes, stamp duty is also payable for vacant land. Contact your local state revenue office for price information on how much you will need to pay on your vacant land.

Can eligible first home buyers receive stamp duty exemptions on an investment property?

No, first-home buyers can only receive concessions if the property is to be their principal place of residence. 

After a certain period after the contract date, you must live at the property to receive the relevant residence concession.

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