If you own or are planning to buy property in South Australia you may be liable for certain state taxes and levies. These are:
The largest state taxation liability when purchasing a home is stamp duty, which is incurred on the transfer of the property. The amount of stamp duty you are required to pay is assessed on the purchase price, or the market value of the property at the date of settlement, whichever is the greater.
Stamp duty must be paid in order for you to be registered as the owner on the Certificate of Title for the property with the Land Services Group.
The Stamp Duty on Conveyances Calculator can assist you in estimating the amount of stamp duty payable.
If you are purchasing or building a new home or purchasing an apartment off-the-plan, please see the relevant section below.
Land tax is an annual tax which applies to all properties in South Australia, however there are tax-free thresholds and exemptions which exclude a number of properties from the tax. Generally properties that are resided in by the owner as their principal place of residence are exempt from land tax.
If you are purchasing a vacant piece of land, or a property that was an investment property for the previous owner, you may be required to pay an amount of land tax at the time of settlement. Any adjustment of land tax payable will be made by the conveyancer engaged to transfer the property. If you are required to pay an amount of land tax at settlement, you can apply to RevenueSA for a refund of the amount paid, assuming the property becomes your principal place of residence and all legislative requirements are met. To apply for a refund, you need to complete an Application for Refund of Land Tax Paid at Property Settlement Form.
If you are building your home, and construction is still occurring on 30 June (the date land tax is calculated on), you may find you are liable to land tax. If so, you can apply for an exemption, as long as you move into the property as your principal place of residence before the following 30 June. To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Residential Exemption Application Form.
If you enter into a contract to purchase an apartment between 22 June 2017 and 30 June 2018, that is eligible for a stamp duty off-the-plan concession, you may be eligible for an exemption from land tax for up to five years from the date of settlement (if it is not your principal place of residence). You do not need to apply for this exemption as it will be applied automatically for the first five years based on your stamp duty off-the-plan concession. This exemption will cease for the following financial year if the apartment is sold before the end of the five year exemption period. The stamp duty concession and land tax exemption does not extend to foreign purchasers.
The Emergency Services Levy is applied each financial year to properties in South Australia. The money raised through this levy is allocated to fund essential emergency services.
As with land tax, if you are purchasing a property you may be required to pay a proportion of the levy at settlement, as you would for council or water rates. Each year, as the owner of the property, you will be required to pay the levy, which is calculated on the property's value, use and region.
For more information on the emergency services levy please see the emergency services levy pages or contact our emergency services levy call centre on 1300 366 150 or by email.