Exemption from Land Tax

In accordance with Sections 4, 5 and 5A of the Land Tax Act 1936, an exemption from land tax may be granted in the following circumstances:

Land used as the Owner's Principal Place of Residence

1. Where the land was the principal place of residence of the owner:

(a) a full exemption is available where:

  • the land is owned by a natural person (whether or not he/she is the sole owner of the land);
  • the buildings on the land have a predominately residential character; and
  • less than 25% of the total floor area of all buildings on the land are used for any business or commercial purpose (other than the business of primary production).

(b) a partial exemption is available where the first two full exemption criteria mentioned above are met and between 25% and 75% of the total floor area of all buildings on the land are used for any business or commercial purpose (other than the business of primary production). A sliding scale of exemption exists   in these circumstances, ranging from 25% to 75% reduction in the taxable value of land. In this situation a Notice of Land Tax Assessment will indicate a taxable site value that is correspondingly less than the site value of the land as determined by the Valuer-General.

Motels, Hotels, Service Apartments and other similar accommodation

From 2010-11 the exemption, or partial exemption, extends to motels, hotels, services apartments and other similar accommodation. The area used for the hotel, motel, set of serviced holiday apartments or other similar accommodation will be taken to be the area used for business or commercial purposes.

To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Residential Exemption Form once you have moved in. (If you have recently completed building your home, please include a Schedule 19A - Statement of Compliance when you send your Application for Residential Exemption to RevenueSA.)

2. Where the land becomes the principal place of residence of the owner after 30 June (i.e. between 1 July and 30 June in the year of assessment), the exemption described in 1(a) or (b) above, or a refund, may be available in any of the following two circumstances:

(i) where at 30 June a person owns land on which a home is either to be constructed or is in the process of being constructed for owner occupation during the financial year for which the exemption is sought;

To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Residential Exemption Form. (If you have recently completed building your home, please include a Schedule 19A - Statement of Compliance when you send an Application for Residential Exemption to RevenueSA.)

(ii) where a person is in the process of selling a home and as a result owns two properties at 30 June:

  • one of which is the current principal place of residence (and eligible for exemption) and the other is the intended but not yet occupied principal place of residence (and liable for land tax); or
  • one of which was their principal place of residence (and liable for land tax) and the other is now their principal place of residence (and eligible for an exemption);

relief will be made available on both properties provided no rental income is received from either property (when not occupied by the owner) during the period that the homes are owned concurrently and the former residence is sold prior to the end of the financial year in which the exemption on the new residence is sought;

To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Residential Exemption Form once you have moved in to the new residence. (If you have recently completed building your home, please include a Schedule 19A - Statement of Compliance when you send your Application for Residential Exemption to RevenueSA.)

3. Where a person purchases a property, which was taxable in the ownership of the vendor (seller) and is to be occupied as a principal place of residence, the purchaser may be refunded any proportionate land tax paid as part of settlement.

To apply for a refund, you need to complete an Application for Refund of Land Tax Paid at Property Settlement Form once you have moved in. (If you have recently completed building your home, please include a Schedule 19A - Statement of Compliance when you send your Application for Residential Exemption to RevenueSA.)

4. As from 30 June 2015, a full exemption is available where land held in a Special Disability Trust constitutes the principal place of residence of the primary beneficiary.

To apply for an exemption, you need to complete a Special Disability Trust Exemption Application. For further information on this exemption, please refer to Information Circular 79.

* Please Note: Effective from the 2008-09 financial year, where a minor interest in land has been disregarded under the Land Tax Act 1936, the holder of the disregarded interest is not eligible for an exemption or refund. Please refer to Circular No. 279 and Information Circular 75 for more information.

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Land used for Primary Production

If the land is situated outside the "defined rural area" of the state (i.e. predominately outside the greater metropolitan areas of Adelaide and Mt Gambier) a primary production exemption is available if:

  • the land is 0.8 hectare or greater in area; and

  • the Commissioner of State Taxation is satisfied that the land is used wholly or mainly for the business of primary production.

If the land is situated inside the "defined rural area", besides meeting the two conditions mentioned above, further conditions apply depending on how the land is owned.

To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Primary Production Exemption Form. Please also refer to the Primary Production Exemption Information Sheet.

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Off-the-Plan Apartments

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.

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 land tax exemption does not extend to foreign purchasers.

Am I eligible for the Off-the-Plan Land Tax Exemption?

If you entered into an eligible off-the-plan contract for the acquisition of land between 22 June 2017 and 30 June 2018, and you received the stamp duty off-the-plan concession for the acquisition, you are entitled to a five year land tax exemption.

How do I apply for the Off-the-Plan Land Tax Exemption?

If you have been granted the stamp duty off-the-plan concession for the land in question, we will automatically apply the land tax exemption. RevenueSA will send you a letter to advise you that the exemption has been granted and the period during which the exemption applies.

Why have I lost my Off-the-Plan Land Tax Exemption?

If you have recently had your stamp duty off-the-plan concession revoked, your land tax exemption would have been removed as you did not satisfy the criteria for the exemption.

I am transferring my land to a related entity, will I lose the Land Tax exemption?

Yes. The exemption is only available to the purchaser/transferee who received the land under the eligible off-the-plan contract.

The site value of my land is beneath the tax-free threshold for land tax, can I defer my 5 year exemption until I have to pay land tax?

The exemption cannot be deferred. All land in South Australia is considered taxable notwithstanding it is under the tax-free threshold. Accordingly, the five year exemption commences from the first 30 June for which you are an owner of the eligible land.

I entered into a contract on 21 June 2017, can I obtain the land tax exemption?

To be eligible for the exemption, the contract must be entered into on or after 22 June 2017.

I entered into a contract before 22 June 2017, but am now executing a replacement contract / amendment / new contract / addendum, am I eligible for the exemption?

Questions as to whether a replacement contract, amendment, new contract or addendum constitutes the actual eligible contract should be directed to our stamp duty team for the purposes of determining the eligibility for the stamp duty off-the-plan concession. If the stamp duty team determine that the appropriate contract is within the relevant time period, a land tax exemption will be granted for five years. You can call our stamp duty team on (08) 8226 3750.

Other exemptions

Subject to conditions, other exemptions from land tax include:

  • land used for religious, hospital or library purposes;

  • land owned, let to or occupied by an association whose objects are/include supplying assistance to helpless persons;

  • land owned, let to or occupied by an association which receives an annual grant or subsidy from money voted by Parliament;

  • land owned by an association whose object(s) is/include the conservation of native fauna or flora;

  • land owned or occupied without payment by a person or association carrying on an educational institution not for profit;

  • land owned by an association established for a charitable, educational, benevolent, religious, or philanthropic purpose;

  • land owned by specific types of sporting or racing associations; an ex-servicemen (or their dependents) association; an employer or employee industrial association; an association for the recreation of the local community; an association for the hosting of agricultural shows or similar exhibitions; or an association for the preserving of buildings or objects of historical value on the land;

  • land owned by a prescribed association or an association of a prescribed kind.
    An association is of a prescribed kind if it holds land wholly or mainly for the purpose of providing services or support to the community, or a sector of the community, in relation to literature, science, languages, the arts, the preservation of historical, traditional or cultural heritage, or for a similar purpose; or 

  • land owned by a prescribed body and used for the benefit of the Aboriginal people.

To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Exemption pursuant to Section 4 of the Land Tax Act Form. Please also refer to the Section 4 Exemption Information Sheet.

  • land that is a caravan park;

  • land that is a supported residential facility and licensed as such under the Supported Residential Facilities Act 1992;

  • a retirement village occupied by a natural person as his or her principal place of residence;

  • a retired persons' relocatable home park occupied by a natural person as his or her principal place of residence; or

  • land that is used as a residential aged care facility approved under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth.)

To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Exemption pursuant to Section 5 of the Land Tax Act Form.

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