Land tax is a tax applied to the value of any property you own, each year. All of your investment properties are subject to land tax in the state they are located in, whereas your principal place of residence (your home) is exempt from this. It is important to identify whether you are liable to register and pay this tax as early as possible.

To find out more, about whether you’re liable to register for/ pay land tax, access the following links:
http://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/taxes/land (NSW) or call 1300 139 816
https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/tax (QLD) or call 1300 300 734
http://www.sro.vic.gov.au/land-tax (VIC) or call 13 21 61

The process of registration for land tax varies between states. For instance, in New South Wales, you must register online or over the phone by the 31st of March in that taxing year. Interest or penalties may be applied for late lodgment. In Queensland, on the other hand, the state government will identify whether one is liable for land tax, and if so, they will send a summary of all land holdings and information on available exemptions. It is entirely up to the government to communicate this information in Queensland.

For land tax, an owner is defined as any of the following:
– sole owner
– joint owners
– a company
– owners of company title units
– trustee of any trust
– beneficiary of a trust which is not a special trust
– society or organisation whose land is not exempt
– unit holders with interest in a unit trust which is entitled to the land tax threshold
– trustees of superannuation funds
– certain lessees of crown or local council land.

You may have to pay land tax on:
– vacant land, including vacant rural land
– land where a house, residential unit or flat has been built
– a holiday home
– an investment property or properties
– company title units
– residential, commercial or industrial units, including car spaces
– commercial properties, including factories, shops and warehouses
– land leased from state or local government.

The value of your land is determined by land values supplied by the Valuer General. To present an amount, an average is calculated from the value of your land for the current year as well as the previous two tax years.

Generally, Individuals, Companies and SMSF’s have their own land tax thresholds (before land tax is payable). Partnerships also have their own threshold but the individual partners is assessed again at a secondary level after crediting their portion of tax paid at the primary partnership level.

Land Tax Assessment Dates are as follows:
NSW – Midnight 31st December
– VIC – Midnight 31st December
– QLD – Midnight 30th June
– TAS – 1st July
– ACT – (has been divided into 3 sectors for billing purposes)
Sector 1 – 15th November, 15th February, 15th May
Sector 2 – 15th September, 15th March, 15th June
Sector 3 – 15th October, 15thJanuary, 15th July
– SA –  Midnight 30th June
– WA – 30th June

This means if you own property for one day on the 31st December, (or 30th June) you are still liable for the whole year’s land tax. Even if the property was sold on the 2nd of January (or 2nd July), you are still liable for the whole calendar year.

Therefore, this means that careful tax planning can save you a lot of land tax –  through just getting the timing right!

 

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