Why you can’t ignore Land Tax

If you own real estate, you need to be aware of Land Tax – a Queensland Government tax.

Even if you have never paid land tax, you need to understand how it might affect you in the future.

The number of people who pay Land Tax increases every year.  This means that every year, people who have never paid Land Tax before will pay this tax for the first time.

The total amount of Land Tax paid increases each year.  Land tax is estimated to grow by 11% to $1.313 billion in 2018-19.

Remember that everyone’s circumstances may be different – and you can’t rely on what happens last year being repeated next year.

And you can’t assume that the land tax liability for someone who owns an identical property will be the same for you.

Land Tax basics

Land tax is levied on the total taxable value of a property owners’ real estate at 30 June each year.

There are 3 important things you need to know:
1. Your home is not included;
2. The taxable value of a property is the “unimproved capital value”, which is usually less than its market value;
3. No Land Tax is payable where the total value of all the properties is below the tax-free threshold.

In 2018, the thresholds are:

  • $600,000 for individuals,
  • $350,000 for companies, trusts & absentees.

Each of these 3 items need careful consideration as to how they apply to your circumstances now, and in the future.

Land Tax is collected by the Office of State Revenue. Their website contains an extensive amount of information which you can access here. We won’t be repeating their information here.

This website aims to demonstrate why land tax planning needs to be considered for every property purchase – including your family home.

We will provide suggestions and options to consider.  As always, before taking any action, you will need specific advice for your personal circumstances.

The property owner?

Whilst it might be stating the obvious, the name of the owner recorded on the title deed is the person liable to pay the land tax.

Therefore, where “you” own one property in your individual name, and another property in the name of your family trust, and another in the name of your self-managed superannuation fund; these 3 properties have 3 different owners.

The fact that you own or control the 3 properties does not have the effect of combining the value of the 3 properties for land tax purposes.

Each owner will only be liable to pay land tax when the total value of the properties they own reaches the threshold.

Where a property has 2 or more owners, only the value of each owner’s part-share is included in their land valuation total.

Taxes will be paid if you don’t obtain advice

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