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Australian Stamp Duty and Land Tax for Non-Residents

Stamp Duty and Land Tax - Foreign Owners

The last few years has seen the implementation of a range of new stamp duty and land tax changes in Australia largely focused on foreign investors and, more recently, "absentee" owners. Currently, Australian citizens and permanent residents working overseas are not caught by the new provisions, following the repeal of some particularly harsh provisions in Queensland in 2019.

Australian expats still need to be broadly aware of these provisions because at least one State appears to have simply invoiced all property owners with an overseas contact address on the basis that they are subject to the "foreigner" absentee land tax provisions - regardless of the owners being Australian citizens or permanent residents. Additionally, many expats buy Australian property with foreign spouses and consequently there is a partial exposure. You should seek professional advice confirming any exposure, prior to making or challenging any payment demands.

We have provided a summary of stamp duty and absentee land tax surcharge payments below - these are payable in addition to standard stamp duty and land tax. To stress, Australian citizens working abroad are currently not liable to pay any stamp duty or absentee land tax surcharges.

State Stamp Duty Surcharge
(On property purchase)
Absentee Land Tax Surcharge
New South Wales 8% from 1/7/17
(previously 4%)
2.0% from 1/7/17
(previously 0.75%)
Victoria 8% from 1/7/19 2% from 1/1/20
(previously 1.5%)
Queensland 7% from 1/7/18
(previously 3%)

2.0% from 30/6/19

Western Australia 7% from 1/1/19 Nil
South Australia 7% from 1/1/18 Nil
Tasmania 8% from 1/4/20 Nil
ACT Nil 0.75% surcharge from 1/7/18

A more detailed summary is available for download below of how we believe the stamp duty and land tax provisions apply across Australia in 2021. The situation is complex and dynamic, changing regularly, and the material is intended only as general background and is not to be relied upon - professional advice is strongly recommended.

If you would like to arrange professional advice please complete the Inquiry form below providing details and you will be contacted promptly.

IMPORTANT: The material contained in this website and other associated communications is only intended as general, background information and must not be relied upon. No warranty is provided in relation to any material or to the services that may be contracted through It is recommended that individuals seek the advice of qualified professionals before taking any action.