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What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty (sometimes called transfer duty) is a tax charged by state and territory governments for certain transactions, such as property purchases. It can be a big expense for homebuyers, with the amount a person pays typically linked to the value of the property they’re purchasing. 

Governments generally use the revenue from stamp duty to fund public services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Stamp duty taxes were first introduced in Australia way back in 1865, with NSW instating them first. The name reflects the fact that, originally, property sales were logged using an actual stamp. 

But stamp duty is becoming an increasingly contentious tax. The Productivity Commission's 5-Year Productivity Inquiry, released in 2017, recommended stamp duty be phased out. It suggested the duty be replaced by a broad-based land tax, thereby allowing people to move houses more often and increasing the productive use of land.

Modelling by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute suggests abolishing stamp duty in favour of a land tax could drive house prices in traditionally expensive areas down, increasing housing affordability. 

That was, for a time, being modelled in a small way in NSW. First home buyers in the state were for a time offered the choice to pay stamp duty or an annual land tax instead. That tax came in at $400 plus 0.3% of their land’s value each year. This was known as the NSW First Home Buyers Choice, but it was scrapped in mid-2023 following a change of government.

How to calculate stamp duty

Calculating how much stamp duty you might be liable for when buying a new property can be tricky. (That’s why Savings.com.au’s Stamp Duty Calculator can come in handy). 

Stamp duty, as well as available concessions and exemptions, differ greatly across the county, as the tables below show.

Typically, a $500,000 house purchase made by an owner-occupier (not a first home buyer) would attract between $8,750 (Queensland) and $23,929 (Northern Territory) of stamp duty. In the remaining states and territories, a buyer would be forking out around:

  • $8,954 in the ACT

  • $17,235 in NSW 

  • $17,765 in Western Australia

  • $18,248 in Tasmania

  • $21,330 in South Australia

  • $21,970 in Victoria

It’s also worth bearing in mind that stamp duty isn’t the only fee your state or territory government, or your lender, will charge you when buying a new home. Other fees to keep an eye out for include land transfer fees and mortgage registration fees.

How to calculate stamp duty in NSW

Property value

Stamp duty rate

<$16,000

$1.25 for every $100

$16,000 to $35,000

$200, plus $1.50 for every $100 over $16,000

$35,000 to $93,000

$485, plus $1.75 for every $100 over $35,000

$93,000 to $351,000

$1,500 plus $3.50 for every $100 over $93,000

$351,000 to $1,168,000

$10,530 plus $4.50 for every $100 over $351,000

>$1,168,000

$47,295 plus $5.50 for every $100 over $1,168,000

How to calculate stamp duty in Victoria

Property value

Stamp duty rate

<$25,000

1.4% of the property’s value

$25,000 to $130,000

$350 plus 2.4% of the property’s value above $25,000

$130,000 to $960,000

$2,870 plus 6% of the property’s value above $130,000

$960,000 to $2 million

5.5% of the property’s value

>$2 million

$110,000 plus 6.5% of the property’s value above $2 million

How to calculate stamp duty in Queensland

Property value

Stamp duty rate

<$5,000

None

$5,000 to $75,000

$1.50 for every $100 over $5,000

$75,000 to $540,000 

$1,050 plus $3.50 for every $100 over $75,000

$540,000 to $1 million

$17,325 plus $4.50 for every $100 over $540,000

>$1 million

$38,025 plus $5.75 for every $100 over $1 million

How to calculate stamp duty in South Australia 

Property value

Stamp duty rate 

<$12,000

$1 for every $100

$12,000 to $30,000

$120 plus $2 for every $100 over $12,000

$30,000 to $50,000

$480 plus $3 for every $100 over $30,000

$50,000 to $100,000

$1,080 plus $3.50 for every $100 over $50,000

$100,000 to $200,000

$2,830 plus $4 for every $100 over $100,000

$200,000 to $250,000

$6.830 plus $4.25 for every $100 over $200,000

$250,000 to $300,000

$8,955 plus $4.75 for every $100 over $250,000

$300,000 to $500,000

$11,330 plus $5 for every $100 over $300,000

>$500,000

$21,330 plus $5.50 for every $100 over $500,000

How to calculate stamp duty in Western Australia

Property value

Stamp duty rate

<$120,000

$1.90 for every $100

$120,001 to $150,000

$2.280 plus $2.85 for every $100 over $120,000

$150,001 to $360,000

$3,135 plus $3.80 for every $100 over $150,000

$360,001 to $725,000

$11,115 plus $4.75 for every $100 over $360,000

>$725,001

$28,453 plus $5.15 per $100 over $725,000

Concessional rates apply for owner-occupiers or those purchasing property as a business asset, as long as that property is worth less than $200,000.

How to calculate stamp duty in Tasmania

Property value

Stamp duty rate

<$3,000

$50

$3,000 to $25,000

$50 plus $1.75 for every $100 over $3,000

$25,000 to $75,000

$435 plus $2.25 for every $100 over $75,000

$75,000 to $200,000

$1,560 plus $3.50 for every $100 over $75,000

$200,000 to $375,000

$5,935 plus $4 for every $100 over $200,000

$375,000 to $725,000

$12,935 plus $4.25 for every $100 over $375,000

>$725,000

$27,810 plus $4.50 for every $100 over $725,000

How to calculate stamp duty in the ACT

The following stamp duty rates apply to those buying as an owner-occupier in the ACT.

Property value

Stamp duty rate

<$260,000

49 cents for every $100

$260,001 to $300,000

$1,274 plus $2.20 for every $100 over $260,000

$300,001 to $500,000

$2,154 plus $3.40 for every $100 over $300,000

$500,001 to $750,000

$8,954 plus $4.32 for every $100 over $500,000

$750,001 to $1 million

$19,754 plus $5.90 per $100 over $750,000

$1 million (and one dollar) to $1,455,000 

$34,504 plus $6.40 per $100 over $1 million

>$1,455,000

$4.54 per $100 of the total transaction

Higher rates are applied to some transactions that don’t involve an owner-occupier purchasing a property.

How to calculate stamp duty in the Northern Territory

You can dust off your algebra to work out the Northern Territory’s stamp duty rates, or simply plug in your property’s price into our stamp duty calculator.

Property value 

Stamp duty rate

<$525,000

(0.06571441 x V2) + 15V, with V being 0.1% of the property’s value

$525,001 to $3 million

4.95% of the property's value

$3 million to $5 million

5.75% of the property’s value

>$5 million

5.95% of the property’s value 

Could you be exempt from stamp duty?

Each state and territory administers stamp duty separately, and they each do so differently. While some offer exemptions from or discounts on stamp duty for certain owner occupiers - such as those buying off the plan, pensioners, farmers, or first home buyers - others do not. 

Though, it's worth mentioning that if a person buys land to build a house on, they don’t have to pay stamp duty on the house itself. That can make building a home more attractive than buying one.

Further, stamp duty is often waived when transferring a property between spouses or family members, or when receiving a house as part of an inheritance. If you’re unsure whether you’re exempt from the tax or not, it's best to check with your state or territory directly. 

Finally, foreign investors can sometimes face notably higher stamp duty rates – as much as an extra 8% in some cases.

Stamp duty exemptions and discounts for first home buyers

If you’re buying your first home, you might pay discounted stamp duty, or none at all. Though, how much you save depends on where you’re buying and how much you pay for your new home.

State or territory

First home buyer exemptions or discounts

NSW

First home buyers don’t need to pay stamp duty for properties worth less than $800,000 or land worth less than $350,000

Those buying properties worth more might receive a discount on stamp duty

Victoria

First home buyers can bypass stamp duty as long as they’re not spending more than $600,000 on their first home

They might also be eligible for a reduced rate if they’re buying a property worth between $600,000 and $750,000

Queensland

First home buyers in the sunshine state don’t pay stamp duty on homes under $550,000 and land under $400,000

Western Australia

On the West Coast, those buying their first home don’t pay stamp duty unless they’re spending more than $430,000 on a house or $300,000 on land

Meanwhile, they might be eligible for a discount if they’re spending between $430,000 and $530,000 on a house and between $300,000 and $400,000 on land

Tasmania

The Apple Isle provides stamp duty relief (a 50% discount) to first home buyers purchasing an existing property worth under $600,000

ACT

Those buying their first home in Canberra could be eligible to waive up to $34,504 of stamp duty, as long as they’re paying less than $1 million for their property

Though, they have to meet certain income tests to do so

South Australia

None

Northern Territory

None



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