Land Tax Concession In QLD For Expats
The Queensland State Government has recently made life easier for Australian expatriates, by excluding them from the Absentee owners rate of Land Tax. This has seen a significant reduction in annual Land Tax bills and is greatly welcomed.
Unfortunately, Land Tax costs for foreign owners remain high across Australia with Queensland, NSW and Victoria all having a surcharge on the Annual Land Tax Assessment. This won’t apply if you have Australian Citizenship or hold a Permanent Resident Visa, whereas in all States except NSW that will mean that the Foreign Owner Surcharges will not apply.
In NSW, they will charge the Land Tax Surcharge for a PR Visa holder unless you have lived in Australia more than 200 days in the year prior.
State Government charges remain a major issue for all property investors, with Land Tax rising as well as the Stamp Duty entry cost which creeps ever upwards as property values rise.
On top of this, all States now charge an additional buyers duty for foreigners, 8% in NSW and 7% in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia & South Australia. Similarly to Land Tax this doesn’t apply if you have Australian Citizenship or a PR Visa, with just NSW requiring PR Visa holders to have been in Australia more than 200 days in the year prior.
It is not unfair to ask foreign investors to pay a higher entry cost in order to protect the local market, it is just about how much is considered to be a fair and reasonable amount. This needs to be weighed up against the cost of services and the positive effect of economic activity. At this time I don’t think any of the State Governments have got this correct.
Interestingly, the Western Australian Federal Government recently announced a construction stimulus measure of a 75% rebate against Stamp Duty and Foreign Buyers fees (to a maximum of A$50,000 per purchase) in order to get the sluggish Perth market into motion. This may be something that other States may want to monitor, especially in the current economic situation.