Increased property taxes from 1 July 2018 announced in Queensland Budget

Global Publication June 2018

The Queensland Government’s FY2018-19 budget was announced yesterday and it includes an increase to 2 property taxes.

Land Tax

The rate of land tax will be increased by 0.5 per cent for owners of land who have aggregated holdings with a taxable value above $10 million.

From the 2018-19 financial year onwards, an increased rate of 2.25 per cent for resident individuals and 2.5 per cent for companies, trustees and absentees will apply to the portion of an owner’s taxable landholding that exceeds $10 million. Currently the top land tax rate of 1.75 per cent and 2 per cent respectively applies to the portion of an owner’s taxable landholding that exceeds $5 million.

Additional foreign acquirer duty ("AFAD")

Since 2016 the Queensland Government has charged additional duty where a foreign person buys “AFAD residential land” under the Duties Act 2001.

Additional duty for foreign purchasers is also charged by the State Governments of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Western Australia is introducing a foreign owner duty surcharge from 1 January 2019.

For contracts signed today, the rate of AFAD in Queensland is 3 per cent. As suggested in the Queensland Government’s Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review released at the end of 2017, the Queensland Budget yesterday announced an increase in the rate of AFAD from 1 July to 7 per cent.

This brings the rate applied in Queensland in line with the other States, with Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all charging 7 per cent and New South Wales charging 8 per cent.

The increased duty rate will apply to contracts formed on or after 1 July 2018 – it will not apply to a contract to acquire AFAD residential land executed before 1 July 2018, even if settlement occurs on or after that date.

As a result, buyers who will be assessed for AFAD and who wish to avoid the 4 per cent increase, should urgently consider signing any contracts for AFAD residential land before 1 July 2018.

Amendments last year to the Duties Act 2001 also mean that:

  • AFAD is also applied to the value of any chattels sold in conjunction with the land where the chattel’s use is directly linked to, or is incidental to, the use and occupation of the land. Examples given are chattels such as household furniture, fittings, appliances, recreational equipment, barbecue settings, swimming pool cleaning equipment and mobile air conditioners would be included. However, it would not include cars, boats, caravans, trucks, farming equipment and chattels used for commercial purposes.
  • AFAD will apply to certain agency transactions for AFAD residential land, when the agreement for the transfer of dutiable property is entered into by an agent for a foreign person.
  • AFAD will also apply to certain pre-incorporation contracts if the intended ultimate transferee is a foreign corporation.

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