Getting caught up in the excitement of purchasing your first home, you may not be aware of your state taxation obligations and entitlements. It is important to know what these are to ensure that you budget for any state taxation liabilities and don’t get caught out with any unexpected taxes or levies. On the other hand, you may also be entitled to some money through various grants and schemes administered by RevenueSA.
This page only provides information in regards to any payments you are required to make to, or may receive from, RevenueSA. For information regarding other costs and/or entitlements, talk to your conveyancer, financial institution or refer to the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs information brochure ‘Buying your first home: a number of ideas’.
What state taxes and levies are incurred when purchasing a home?
There are a number of taxes and levies incurred when you purchase a home, regardless of whether this is your first home, a new home or an investment property. These are:
Emergency Services Levy
The largest state taxation liability when purchasing a home is stamp duty, which is incurred on the transfer of the property. The amount of stamp duty you are required to pay is assessed on the purchase price or the market value of the property at the date of settlement, whichever is the greater.
Stamp duty must be paid in order for you to be registered as the owner on the Certificate of Title for the property with the Land Services Group.
The Stamp Duty on Conveyances Calculator can assist you in estimating the amount of stamp duty payable.
For more information on stamp duty please see the Stamp Duty on Transfer of Real Property (Land) page or contact our stamp duty call centre on 08 8226 3750 or by email.
Land tax is an annual tax which applies to all properties in South Australia, however there are tax-free thresholds and exemptions which exclude a number of properties from the tax.
If you are purchasing a vacant piece of land, or a property that was an investment property for the previous owner, you may be required to pay an amount of land tax at the time of settlement. Generally properties that are resided in by the owner as their principal place of residence are exempt from land tax. Any adjustment of land tax payable will be made by the conveyancer engaged to transfer the property.
If you are required to pay an amount of land tax at settlement, you can apply to RevenueSA for a refund of the amount paid, assuming the property becomes your principal place of residence and all legislative requirements are met. To apply for a refund, you need to complete an Application for Refund of Land Tax paid at Property Settlement Form.
If you are building your first home, and construction is still occurring on 30 June (the date land tax is calculated on), you may find you are liable to land tax. If so, you can apply for an exemption, as long as you move into the property as your principal place of residence before the following 30 June. To apply for an exemption, you need to complete an Application for Residential Exemption Application Form.
For more information on land tax please see the land tax pages or contact our land tax call centre on 08 8204 9870 or by email.
Emergency Services Levy
The emergency services levy is applied each financial year to properties in South Australia. The money raised through the levy is allocated to fund essential emergency services.
As with land tax, you may be required to pay a proportion of the levy at settlement. The amount will be calculated by the conveyancer engaged to transfer the property. Each year, as the owner of the property, you will be required to pay the levy, which is calculated on the property's value, use and region.
For more information on the emergency services levy please see the emergency services levy pages or contact our emergency services levy call centre on 1300 336 150 or by email.
What am I entitled to?
RevenueSA administers the first home owner grant along with a number of other grants and concessions for new home buyers. You may be eligible for:
- First Home Owners Grant
- Housing Construction Grant
- Off-the-plan Stamp Duty Concession
First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)
You may be eligible for the FHOG. The FHOG is a one-off grant payable to eligible first home owners on the:
- purchase or construction of a new home; or
- purchase of an established home (up to 30 June 2014).
Varying amounts of the FHOG are available, depending on the time the contract was entered into, or in the case of owner builders when construction commenced. The First Home Buyers Grants Table outlines the maximum grant payment available.
There are a number of criteria that must be met in order to be paid the grant, such as it must be your first residential property purchased, you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and the property value must not exceed $575 000.
If you entered into a contract between 5 June 2008 and 14 October 2012, you may also be eligible for the First Home Bonus Grant (FHBG), please see the additional schemes page for more information.
You can complete the eligibility checklist by clicking here and completing the questions asked.
A First Home Owners Grant Application must be lodged with RevenueSA or your mortgage provider, assuming they are an Approved Agent.
Housing Construction Grant (HCG)
If you are purchasing or building a new home*, you may be eligible for a HCG of up to $8500. This grant is in addition to the FHOG.
The HCG applies to contracts entered into between 15 October 2012 and 30 June 2013, or in the case of owner builders, where construction commenced between 15 October 2012 and 30 June 2013. A property value cap of $450 000 applies.
Submit your Housing Construction Grant Application to RevenueSA or an Approved Agent together with supporting documentation. Applications must be received within 12 months of the completion of the eligible transaction. A separate application is required for each eligible transaction.
You can complete and lodge the application form with the financial institution providing your finance as part of buying or building your home, if they are an Approved Agent.
PLEASE NOTE: Functionality for Approved Agents to process is currently being developed, therefore any application made to an Approved Agent will be forwarded to RevenueSA for processing.
*New Home means a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence and includes a substantially renovated home.
Off-the-plan Stamp Duty Concession (OTP)
If you are purchasing a new or substantially refurbished apartment:
- within the area of the Corporation of the City of Adelaide;
- on any land within the area where the Bowden Redevelopment project (Bowden Village); or
- on any land located within the area known as 45 Park, Gilberton;
you may be eligible for an OTP stamp duty concession of up to $21 330 (capped at stamp duty payable on a $500 000 apartment), if your contract to purchase was entered into between 31 May 2012 and 30 June 2014. This concession is in addition to the FHOG.
If eligible, no stamp duty will be payable where the apartment has a market value of $500 000 or less. Where an apartment purchased has a market value greater than $500 000, you will be entitled to a stamp duty concession of $21 330. A calculator is available to determine the stamp duty payable and concession that could be applicable.
A partial concession will be available for contracts entered into between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2016.
For more information on the OTP stamp duty concession please see the OTP Concession page or contact our stamp duty call centre on 08 8226 3750 or by email.
This page was last reviewed 17 January, 2013