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  • Sonya Lee

Why you have to pay stamp duty

Updated: Nov 15, 2023


A calculator, pen and page is lying on a place for stamp

Many people ask us why they have to pay stamp duty when buying a property.


Stamp duty, or transfer duty , is a tax imposed by the NSW Government on transactions that involve the transfer of land or property, such as buying a home or a business. The amount of stamp duty you have to pay depends on the value of the property and whether you are eligible for any concessions or exemptions.


The purpose of stamp duty is to raise revenue for the state government and to fund public services and infrastructure. Stamp duty also helps regulate the property market by discouraging speculation and excessive turnover.


How is stamp duty calculated in NSW?


Stamp duty is calculated on a sliding scale, similar to income tax, so the more expensive the property, the more stamp duty you’ll pay. You can use the online calculator provided by Revenue NSW to work out how much stamp duty you’ll need to pay. Click to the link for a simple calculator to help you calculate any potential duty you might be charged. https://www.apps09.revenue.nsw.gov.au/erevenue/calculators/landsalesimple.php


There are concessions or exemptions from stamp duty in NSW?


You may be eligible for a concession or exemption from stamp duty in NSW if you meet certain criteria. Some of the common scenarios where you may qualify are:


First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme: If you are buying your first home in NSW and it is valued at less than $800,000, you may be eligible for a full or partial exemption from stamp duty. If the home is valued between $800,000 and $1 million, you may be eligible for a concessional rate of stamp duty.

  • First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme: If you are buying or building a new home in NSW valued at less than $600,000, or buying land valued at less than $400,000 to build a new home on it within 12 months of purchase, you may be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000 from the NSW government. This grant is not related to stamp duty but can help offset the cost of buying a new home.

  • Transfer between married couples or de facto partners: If you are transferring a property between yourself and your spouse or de facto partner (including same-sex partners), you may be exempt from paying stamp duty on the transfer if the property is your principal place of residence or used for farming purposes.

  • Transfer due to breakdown of relationship: If you are transferring a property due to a court order or an agreement following the breakdown of your marriage or de facto relationship (including same-sex partners), you may be exempt from paying stamp duty on the transfer if certain conditions are met.

  • Transfer under a will or intestacy: If you are inheriting a property under a will or intestacy (when someone dies without a will), you may be exempt from paying stamp duty on the transfer if the property was the principal place of residence of the deceased person or used for farming purposes by them.


For more information on these and other concessions and exemptions from stamp duty in NSW, please visit Revenue NSW website. https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/taxes-duties-levies-royalties/transfer-duty





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