Stamp Duty Calculator

Stamp duty can be a nasty surprise for property buyers – how much is the government likely to want from you when you buy your dream home. The cost varies between states, so try our stamp duty calculator to find out an estimate on what the costs will look like.

Please note that the calculations shown are an estimate only based on current charges. You should seek legal and financial advice before committing to a property purchase.

What is stamp duty?

According to the Australian Government, stamp duty is a tax on written documents and certain transactions. Stamp duty is imposed by State and Territory governments and varies depending on the State or Territory. Depending on the circumstances, this tax can be paid by the purchaser or the borrower at a flat rate or based on the value of the transaction.

What transactions are taxed?

Taxable transactions include:

  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Insurance policies
  • Leases and mortgages
  • Hire purchase agreements
  • Transfers of property (such as real estate or some shares)

Most people are acutely aware of stamp duty when they purchase a home to live in.

When it comes to property transactions, stamp duty is extremely unpopular with investors. Shane Garrett, the senior economist for the Housing Industry Association, calls stamp duty a ‘vicious cycle’, and goes on to say that few things have had as detrimental an impact on household finances as stamp duty.

“The cost of stamp duty has a significant negative multiplier effect causing a downward financial spiral for households,” explained HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett.

“Apart from the immediate effect of being over $19,000 worse off, stamp duty results in mortgage interest payments increasing by about $15,900.

“Damage from the tide of stamp duty doesn’t stop there. Homebuyers have smaller deposits after stamp duty is paid and must bear larger mortgage debt. As a result, significantly higher LMI charges must then be paid. On a standard home purchase of $527,000, stamp duty can push the LMI premium up by another $7,855. If that’s not bad enough, a further layer of mortgage interest is added on top of the LMI premium if it is capitalised.”

“The end result is that the typical stamp duty bill of $19,045 can snowball up to about $50,000 once LMI and mortgage interest are factored in. This is an unacceptable burden to place on ordinary homebuyers.”

The Property Council is another high-profile opponent to stamp duty, calling it an out-dated revenue raiser and the worst of the taxes. CEO Ken Morrison stated that “it’s a tax which is spiralling out of control”.

Both Ken Morrison and Shane Garrett believe there are more efficient revenue-raising methods that can take its place.

Mr. Morrison in particular is an advocate for a GST-based approach, claiming that it would be less harmful to the economy and to first home buyers. “GST would seem to be the most logical source. It’s a well-accepted tax, it performs well and it has a much lower impact on the economy than these quite distortive stamp duties.”

The following report on median price dwellings for June 2015 can provide more information on stamp duty costs.

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How is stamp duty calculated?

As mentioned earlier, stamp duty costs vary from state to state. Stamp duty calculators for your particular state can be found amongst the following links: