All Australian States and Territories charge stamp duty on the purchase of some residential property and Queensland is no different. But unlike some parts of the country, how much you’ll pay depends on whether you’re buying as an owner/occupier or investor. Then again, if you’re buying your first home, you may not have to pay much at all.
How does stamp duty work in Queensland?
In Queensland, stamp duty – or transfer duty – is charged on transfers of residential land and is payable by the purchaser.
The state government has a “general rate” of stamp duty which is payable by people purchasing an investment property. It then provides a concessional rate for those buying a home. First home owners then get their rate discounted even further, so long as the purchase price is below a certain threshold.
The general rate of stamp duty in Queensland is as follows.
Property valueStamp duty payable Up to $5,000 - NIL $5,001 to $75,000 - $1.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $5,000 $75,0001 to $540,000 - $1,050 plus $3.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $75,000 $540,0001 to $1,000,000 - $17,325 plus $4.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $540,000 Over $1,000,000 - $38,025 plus $5.75 for every $100 or part of $100 over $1,000,000
Stamp duty rate when buying your home
If you’re purchasing as an owner/occupier, you’re entitled to a discount, regardless of whether or not it’s your first home. Instead of paying the general rate, stamp duty will be charged according to the following table, known as the “home concession” rate.
The home concession rate is set out below.
Property valueStamp duty payable Up to $350,000 - $1 for every $100 or part of $100 $350,001 to $540,000 - $3,500 plus $3.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $350,000 $540,0001 to $1,000,000 - $10,150 plus $4.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $540,000 Over $1,000,000 - $30,850 plus $5.75 for every $100 or part of $100 over $1,000,000
First home owners and stamp duty
First home buyers purchasing either an established or off the plan property valued under $550,000 receive a further concession under the “first home concession”.
- To be eligible, you’ll need to:
- Have never previously claimed the first home or first home vacant land concession
- Never have owned a residence in Australia or overseas
- Move into the property within a year of settlement
- Be over 18 (although this may be waived)
- Not sell the property within a year of settlement.
If you meet these criteria, you’re entitled to the following discount on top of the home concession rate:
Property value/purchase priceConcession Up to $504,999.99 - $8,750 $505,000 to $509,999.99 - $7,875 $510,000 to $514,999.99 - $7,000 $515,000 to $519,999.99 - $6,125 $520,000 to $524,999.99 - $5,250 $525,000 to $529,999.99 - $4,375 $530,000 to $534,999.99 - $3,500 $535,000 to $539,999.99 - $2,625 $540,000 to $544,999.99 - $1,750 $545,000 to $549,999.99 - $875 $550,000 or more - NIL
First home buyers purchasing vacant land valued at $400,000 or less, receive a stamp duty exemption or concession under a different scheme, known as the “First home vacant land concession”. You can read more about it here.
Foreign buyers and stamp duty
While Queensland may have generous stamp duty concessions for many buyers, the State government does make some purchasers pay more. Foreign purchasers – other than New Zealanders with a special category visa – will have to pay “additional foreign acquirer duty” of 7% of the property value, on top of their rate of duty.
If you’re a foreign buyer you will, however, still be entitled to the home concession, first home concession or first home vacant land concession so long as you meet the other criteria of these concessions.
What about if I buy off the plan?
Unlike some State and Territories, Queensland has no special concessional stamp duty rate for buyers making “off the plan” purchases.
How and when do you have to pay stamp duty in Queensland?
In Queensland, you’ll generally need to pay stamp duty at settlement. A transfer of land can’t usually even be lodged unless it’s also been stamped.
As lenders will usually expect you to pay any stamp duty out of your own pocket, you should always make sure you’ve allowed for this in your budgeting and can meet all your expenses on settlement day, including any solicitor’s fees, removalist's fees and more.