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Avoiding stamp duty like the plague...

In Queensland, you may be able to avoid stamp duty by way of concession or exemption.


Concessions


For concessions, these generally arise in the following situations:

  • Home concession - if you are purchasing an established dwelling and intend to live in that property for at least twelve months (regardless of how many properties you have owned previously);

  • First principal place concession – the lower home concession rate of duty plus a further rebate that may result in you paying no duty (when you have never owned a home before) up to a maximum amount of $500,000.00;

  • First Home Vacant Land concession – for first home buyers purchasing vacant land - nil up to $250,000.00 provided you construct a dwelling on the property within two years of the date of settlement and once constructed occupy that property as your principal place of residence for at least twelve (12) months.

Exemptions

Different to a concession, there are also exemptions. An exemption means you do not pay any duty, regardless of the value of the property you are buying or acquiring.

For each exemption, certain requirements will need to be met according to law. You may also need to submit supporting documentation for your exemption claim.

There are many different exemptions which may apply in many different situations according to the Duties Act 2001. Some of these exemptions may arise for:

  • Trusts;

  • Particular investment schemes;

  • Eligible superannuation schemes;

  • Asset-backed securities;

  • Mortgage-backed securities;

  • Cancelled agreements;

  • Deceased estates;

  • Family Court Orders;

  • Other Court Orders;

  • Under various other enactments.

Related Party Transactions

If you have a property with more than one owner and you wish to purchase one of the other owner’s share in the property, the only way this can be done is by stamped transfer. The Office of State Revenue deem this transaction as a “related party transaction”. This means that you are required to provide to our firm a valuation of the property not more than three months old showing the property value with three comparative sales to evidence how that value was arrived at. A local real estate agent in the area can provide this for you. Our firm is then obliged to calculate stamp duty on the higher of the sale price or the valuation amount (with related party transactions it is normally the valuation amount) for the share of the property being acquired by you.

The exception to this would be if the property is owned by more than one person and one of the owners dies then the property will transfer either by way of record of death or transmission depending on how the ownership of the property is held.

If you are wanting to refinance the property and pay out an ex-partner this will also fall under the umbrella of a “related party transaction”. Quite often it is more economical to resolve the ownership of matrimonial property by way of consent orders or a binding financial agreement. You are then able to transfer the ownership of the property pursuant to the agreement or order and avoid any stamp duty.

Conclusion

It's vital that you engage the right firm who can advise you about your right to a concession or exemption, even when you don't ask or don't realise.

Here at Richard Hoare & Co Solicitors, you’re not just getting a conveyancer, you’re getting a lawyer who knows the process and works with you every step of the way.

Should you require any assistance or further information please contact our office on (07) 3209 7000.

Alternatively, contact us now or book an appointment to see one of our friendly staff.

Disclaimer: This publication is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. We are unable to ensure the information is current and there is no guarantee in relation to accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content of this publication.

© Richard Hoare & Co Solicitors

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