What you Should Know about Transfer Duty Concession and Exemptions in Queensland

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There’s a tax that’s common to most people who purchase properties in Queensland; it is called a transfer duty or a stamp duty. This tax is probably one of the highest payments an intending homeowner will ever make, after the deposit for the property.

One thing that’s interesting about this stamp duty is that while some people have to pay it all, some other buyers of properties in Queensland can get a concessional rate on their payments. More interesting still is the fact that some people can even purchase properties without paying any stamp duty, which refers to Stamp Duty Exemptions QLD (Queensland).

You might be wondering how this is possible, and why someone would be required to pay while some other person goes scot-free without paying.

Well, it’s all about getting the right information and knowing what to do to qualify for an exemption, or at least a transfer duty concession, as well as how much you can save if you get a concession or exemption.

Home concession

The essence of this concession is such that property buyers in Queensland are afforded a transfer duty concession in the case where they are buying the home to reside in. In that case, they get a discount rate for occupancy. But if a person is purchasing the property as an investment or to let out to others, the home concession doesn’t cover them, meaning they have to pay every single penny of the stamp duty.

What is the eligibility for home concession like?

As expected, you need to meet several conditions to qualify for home concession. They include the following:

  • You must move into your purchased property within 365 of the purchase and reside there every day.
  • You must not rent, sell, or hand over ownership of the home to someone else prior to your moving in.
  • If you are a co-buyer of the home, you can still meet up for the concession for your part of the home if you meet the conditions above, even if the other person doesn’t qualify.

What disqualifies me from home concession privileges?

The fact that you mean the criteria above doesn’t mean it is a smooth and easy ride to the home concession. You can get disqualified or become ineligible if you take some actions within a time frame.

For instance, if you sell your property in the space of one year your moving in, you could lose your concession, or in some cases, only get a concession for the time you spent living in the home.

If you tear down the building and rebuild it before moving into it in the first instance, as well as if you tear down it in the space of one year living in that property.

What happens if you purchase a property with tenants residing within? 

Your eligibility for a transfer duty concession in this situation is dependent on two factors. You will qualify if the tenants pack out of the house in a space of six months after you take over ownership, or if the tenants move out upon the expiration of their lease, whichever comes first.

Even if the person residing within the property is the seller of the property who sold it to you, he/she will still be grouped under the tenant status, which means they’ll have to pack out in six months for you to meet up for the concession.

Queensland’s First home concession

This concession covers some homebuyers in Queensland who are buying a home for the first time. The first home buyers are entitled to an extra concession that’s higher than the regular home concession. Qualifying for this first home concession can save you a whopping $15,950 from your expected stamp duty rate.

What makes you eligible for the first home concession?

Eligibility for this concession is dependent on several factors including:

  • Being 18 years and older
  • Purchasing a property that’s less than $550,000 worth
  • Haven’t owned a home in Australia and elsewhere
  • Haven’t been a beneficiary of the first home vacant land concession
  • Must move into the new home within a year and live there day-to-day
  • Must not lease, sell, or hand over possession of the home to someone else before moving in
  • Even if you’re purchasing a home for the first time with a partner who doesn’t meet the criteria, you don’t have to worry, provided you keep to all the rules. You could still qualify for concession on your portion of the home.

What can make you ineligible for the first home concession?

You will lose the first home concession if you tear down the property without first in it, even if you tear down and remodel or reconstruct within a year.

You will need to have lived there for a few months (at least 3) and officially made it your principal place of residence before you begin making any renovations to the home, otherwise, you will not qualify for the first home concession.

When you remodel while living in the property, you will become ineligible if you lease, sell, or transfer the remodeled house in the space of one year living there.

Purchasing a property as a first home buyer with live-in tenants

You will only qualify for the first home concession if there are existing clients within your property if they move out in a space of six months of your taking over the property or at the expiration of their lease, whichever comes first. If the seller of the property resides there, they also have to pack out in 6 months.

First home vacant land concession

First-time home owners in Queensland who buy vacant land can meet up for the first home vacant land concession, which will help them save $7,175 off the stamp duty.

How to qualify for the first home vacant land concession?

To meet up for the first home vacant land concession, you need to meet the following conditions:

  • Be aged 18 and above
  • Buy a vacant land with a value range of $320,000 to $400,000
  • Don’t own any home within Australia or elsewhere
  • Shouldn’t have received the first home vacant land concession before
  • Must have moved into the purchased property within two years of purchase and lived there every day.
  • Must have built only a single home on the land
  • Must not have leased, sold, or handed possession of the home to someone else prior to moving in
  • Even if you’re purchasing the property with someone else and they don’t meet up for the concession, you can still qualify for your part of the home.

The exemptions to paying stamp duty in Queensland

According to the government of Queensland, you can only qualify for Stamp Duty Exemptions QLD (Queensland) when purchasing a mobile or manufactured home, as well as when transferring ownership of your home to a spouse.

An exemption can also be sought upon the death of a property owner such as when a property is distributed as part of the deceased’s will.

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