Even if you have never paid land tax, discussing your options with a property lawyer before your next purchase might save you tens of thousands of dollars.

I had to laugh recently when I read that everything property owners needed to know about Land Tax could be found on the Queensland Government website.  The reality is that what the Queensland Government wants you to know about land tax can be found on their website.

You might save yourself tens of thousands of dollars if you think about the future land tax implications before your next purchase.

How Much $$
A client recently saved $4,800 in Land Tax – and that was just in the first year.   The saving over 10 years could be over $60,000 – as the tax will increase as the property value increases. Several clients recently each paid in excess of $20,000 land tax.

Whilst transfer duty is usually the biggest expense for property buyers, our client would have been paying Land Tax every year.

But I’ve never paid Land Tax !
If you have never paid Land Tax, you might think it doesn’t apply to you.  Most property owners don’t pay Land Tax because the value of their properties is below the tax threshold (Unimproved capital value: $350,000 for companies & trusts // $600,000 for individuals)

Don’t expect this to continue.  You might pay land tax when property values increase, or the government lowers the threshold or increases the tax rates.

A warning reminder to caution us that taxes will be paid if we proceed without getting advice

Are you thinking about buying a property?
Even if you have never paid land tax before, obtain advice before signing any Contract.  The important decision is who or what will be the buyer and owner of the property.

There are many possible scenarios, and what is important for one person will be different for the next.

Do you own property?
For existing property owners, the strategies can be more expensive but may still be worthwhile where you don’t intend selling the property.  A simple cost-benefit analysis can determine whether any action would be beneficial.

Whilst we are only talking about one tax, successful property owners and investors who use different strategies for different circumstances may also enjoy the benefit of asset protection, better management of their finances, and capital gains tax planning.  Good strategies can deliver multiple benefits.

Disclaimer: The above is to be considered as general education. This is not advice and it is not to be acted upon without advice from a qualified professional who understands your personal circumstances.

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