Stamp duty is a cost that is often overlooked by home buyers and can be a significant addition to the overall payment.  We’ve gathered some important information you might like to consider, including a handy calculator to help you figure out the costs you can expect from your state or territory government.

What is stamp duty?

According to the Australian Government, stamp duty (sometimes also known as transfer 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 you reside in. 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 might I pay stamp duty on?

While this article focuses on stamp duty on buying a home, there are also some other transactions that you may need to pay stamp duty on.

Some common types of transactions that could incur stamp duty include:

  • Real estate
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Insurance policies
  • Leases and mortgages
  • Hire purchase agreements
  • Transfers of some shares
  • Gifts

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.

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How is stamp duty calculated?

Stamp duty costs vary from state to state. It also depends on the type of property (or possession) and the selling price as well as the intention (i.e. to live in or as an investment). The calculation can vary between different jurisdictions but normally involves an assessor calculating the amount of stamp duty you will need to pay based on the laws in your state or territory.

Use our stamp duty calculator below to work out how much stamp duty you may need to factor in to your purchase or transfer.

Alternatively, stamp duty calculators for your particular state can be found below:

How is stamp duty paid?

Generally, stamp duty is paid by the person making the purchase. Typically, if you are buying a property your conveyancer or solicitor will give you more information about stamp duty and advise you how much stamp duty you will need to pay. Alternatively, you may receive a notice in the post containing this information. The deadline for the payment of stamp duty can vary depending on your state or territory. In general, full payment is required between one – three months.

The payment of stamp duty can typically be processed via direct debit, credit card, bank transfer or cheque. Your solicitor or conveyancer, or the notice your receive, will specify the details of the bank account that your stamp duty payment must be sent to.

Do I qualify for an exemption from stamp duty?

Each state and territory offers some exemptions from stamp duty and it is a good idea to do your research to see if you qualify for any. Some exemptions include:

  • First home buyer
  • A transfer following the death of a property owner
  • Transfer of property to a spouse
  • Transfer to a charitable institution