Understanding Stamp Duty in Australia

Stamp duty in Australia, also known as Transfer duty, can cost a LOT – unless you’re eligible for a concession (discount) or an exemption.

This article is educational, to calculate your government fees use the online stamp duty calculator.

Keep Reading for a Description of Fees…

But there’s also other government fees when you purchase property.  In this article we’ll provide an overview of these, but click on your State to get specific details and formula’s for your location.

Navigate to Your State by Clicking the Link Below:

ACT Stamp Duty
NSW Stamp Duty
NT Stamp Duty
QLD Stamp Duty
SA Stamp Duty
TAS Stamp DutyVIC Stamp Duty
WA Stamp Duty

What are the Government Fees when I purchase property in Australia?

There’s three…. (excluding fees that are related to borrowing money, that you incur via your lender, bank or solicitor).

  • Stamp Duty (also called Transfer Duty)
  • Transfer Registration
  • Mortgage Registration

Each State Government has their own unique formula for determining the government fees you are liable to pay.

If you’re looking for specific rates and information relating to your State or Territory, just select the link above for your State.

How is Stamp Duty calculated?

Stamp duty, most commonly called by the governments as Transfer Duty, relates specifically to the “transfer” of property ownership.

The Transfer refers to the “document” known as… Transfer of Land (also called a Transfer of Title).

  • The seller’s solicitor generally prepares the Transfer of Land document.
  • This is the legal document that transfers the property in to your name when you purchase it, so that you can take ownership!
  • Each State Government has a unique formula for how to calculate the stamp duty charge.
  • The more expensive the house, the more expensive the stamp duty.
  • Foreign Residents buying in Australia normally pay a significant surcharge (up to 8-12% of the purchase price)

Transfer Stamp Duty is just a form of property tax that we really get nothing much out of, apart from the fact that the State Governments derive a significant portion of their budget from stamp duty revenue.

To calculate how much stamp duty you’ll have to pay, use the stamp duty calculator.

What’s a Transfer Registration fee?

As the name suggest, the Transfer registration also directly relates specifically the Transfer of Land document explained above.

  • The Transfer of Land transfers the property in to your name.
  • Your State Government manages the land ownership for your State.
  • There’s a public register administered by your State department.

The “register” exists, so that the true owner of the property can be quickly and easily identified.

The Transfer Registration fee, is the cost incurred for the registration of the Transfer of Land document with the local land titles office.

Like stamp duty, this is unique in each State and it’s most commonly calculated using a formula that’s also directly related to the purchase price.  However, this fee isn’t too excessive.

To calculate your Transfer Registration fee, use the stamp duty calculator.

What’s a Mortgage Registration fee?

The Mortgage Document is the legal document that gives your lender the right to seize your asset if you don’t repay the loan.

  • Without a Mortgage, your lender would require a court order to force the sale of your asset, but this is an expensive process with unknown outcomes.
  • A Mortgage provides your lender with “Security”.
  • You are the Mortgagor and your lender is the Mortgagee.

A Registered Mortgage ensures that when a mortgage exists, it can actually be “seen”.  This is important so:

  • You can ensure any mortgage is paid out when you are taking ownership.
  • Your lender can ensure that somebody can’t sell or refinance without paying off their existing mortgage.
  • There’s no point having mortgages if it’s just a document that sits in a safe, it’s there to protect lenders and land owners.

To calculate how much mortgage registration fees are in your State, use the stamp duty calculator.

Stamp Duty Concessions and Exemptions

There are many stamp duty concessions and exemptions in Australia, particularly for Home Buyers and First Home Buyers.

Navigate to your State by selecting the link below:

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
Queensland
South Australia
Tasmania
Victoria
Western Australia

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