Frequently Asked Questions - Land Tax

The frequently asked questions have been divided into categories to make it easier for you to find the answer you are looking for. Just click on the desired category to view a list of questions and answers.


About Land Tax

What is land tax?

Land ownership, site value and land use as at midnight 30 June each year are used to determine the land tax for the forthcoming financial year. Land tax revenue assists in the provision of public services such as education, health and public safety.

RevenueSA is responsible for the collection of land tax under the Land Tax Act 1936, the Taxation Administration Act 1996, and associated Regulations. To view these and other acts please refer to the Legislation page.

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Who is liable for land tax?

The owner of the property as at midnight 30 June is liable to pay the land tax assessed for the forthcoming financial year. Where a property was sold after 30 June, the vendor (seller) is still liable for the land tax.

It is a common practice (and sometimes a contractual requirement) for land conveyancers to arrange a proportional adjustment between the purchaser and the vendor of land, for any applicable land tax at the time of land settlement. This adjustment should be calculated as if the property being sold is the only taxable property in the ownership.

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Exemptions

An exemption from land tax may be available depending on the use of the property and/or the owner of the property, please refer to the Exemption From Land Tax page for further information.

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How is Land Tax Calculated?

Land tax is calculated by applying a progressive rate structure to the total taxable site value of all land owned (by an owner or a group of owners) as at midnight 30 June. Where land is owned jointly, a person holding a minor interest may be taken not to be an owner. Please refer to Minor Interests section below.

The rates of land tax effective as at midnight on 30 June 2016 for the 2016-17 financial year are as follows:

Total Taxable Site ValueRate
Up to $332 000Nil
$332 001 - $609 000$0.50 for every $100 or part of $100 over $332 000
$609 001 - $886 000$1385 plus $1.65 for every $100 or part of $100 over $609 000
$886 001 - $1 108 000$5 955.50 plus $2.40 for every $100 or part of $100 over $886 000
Over $1 108 000$11 283.50 plus $3.70 for every $100 or part of $100 over $1 108 000

Where an owner owns more than one taxable property.

Land tax is apportioned to each taxable property within the ownership based on the taxable site value of each taxable property (see example).

.
Example

A person owns two taxable properties: Property A (with a site value of $250 000) and Property B (with a site value of $370 000). Land Tax on $620 000 is calculated as follows:

Tax on $609 000
=
$1385
plus Tax on $609 001 to $620,000 (i.e. $11 000 @ $1.65 for every $100 or fractional part of $100)
=
$ 181.50
Total land tax payable
=
$1566.50

The total Land Tax payable ($1465.50) is apportioned on the Notice of Land Tax Assessment as follows:

Property A =
site value of property ($250 000)
       
 
total taxable site value ($620 000)
x $1566.50 = $ 631.65
           
Property B =
site value of property ($370 000)
       
 
total taxable site value ($620 000)
x $1566.50 = $934.85
      Total = $1566.50

Online Calculator

You can also use our calculator to determine your land tax.

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Notices

Why is this the first time I have received a Notice of Land Tax Assessment?

There are three main reasons why you may have received a Notice of Land Tax Assessment for the first time:

  • the total taxable site value of all taxable land owned by you as at midnight, 30 June may now exceed the threshold of $323 000;
  • you may have bought additional land in the last financial year; or
  • land previously exempt from land tax may now no longer satisfy the exemption criteria.

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Can I have a separate notice for each property?

No. The Land Tax Act 1936 requires land tax to be calculated on the basis of the total taxable site value of all land owned (by an owner or a group of owners) as at midnight 30 June.

Aggregation of the value of all properties of an owner for land tax assessment purposes is applied by all Australian jurisdictions that impose land tax. It is not considered equitable that two owners holding land identical in total value, one with one property and the other with two or more properties should pay different amounts of land tax.


Change of Address

If you wish to change the address details on your Notice of Land Tax Assessment, please complete the online change of address form.


What does ANR and ORS mean?

ANR means 'Another' and ORS means 'Others'.


ANR:

If a property is bought by two entities, both names are registered on the certificate of title, however our ownership record will show the first named on the certificate of title, with the other name abbreviated to ANR

Example:

A property bought by Joe Boggelsworth & Mary Smith would have both names registered on the certificate of title, but as Joe's name was registered first, our ownership record will display as 'J Boggelsworth & ANR'.

ORS:

If a property is bought by more than two entities, all names are registered on the certificate of title, however our ownership record will show the first named on the certificate of title, with all other names abbreviated to ORS.

Example:

A property bought by Bloggs Pty Ltd, Mary Smith Inc and Jim Brown would have all names registered on the certificate of title but as Bloggs Pty Ltd was registered first, our ownership record will display as 'Bloggs Pty Ltd & ORS'.

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Owners

The liability for the payment of land tax falls upon the owner of the land as at midnight on 30 June immediately preceding the financial year for which the tax is assessed. The term owner is generally taken to be the person whose name appears on the Certificate of Title at the Lands Titles Office. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Trusts

Where a property is held on trust, the trustees can apply to have that property assessed separately from other land owned by the trustee in another capacity. Please refer to the Trusts page.

Why are persons holding Minor Interests taken not to be 'land tax' owners?

Changes to the Land Tax Act 1936, which came into effect at midnight on 30 June 2008, introduced minor interest provisions to address the practice where owners of more than one piece of land avoid paying higher marginal rates of land tax by structuring their ownerships so that another party (or parties) hold a minor interest in an individual piece of land, thereby creating different legal ownerships. Please refer to the Minor Interests in Land page and Circular No. 279 for more information.

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Shack Sites

Shack site lessees of privately owned land are deemed to be the owner where:

  • the shack site is situated on or adjacent to the banks of the River Murray, a tributary of the River Murray, or a lake or lagoon connected with the River Murray or a tributary of the River Murray; and
  • a registered lease existed as at midnight 30 June 1989 over the land and the term of the lease is at least 40 years.

Further, the occupier of land in a defined shack-site area is similarly deemed to be the land tax owner. Shack-site areas have been defined as council areas where land is deemed by the Valuer-General to be shack site land.

The above 3 exceptions are the most common, please refer to the Land Tax Guide to Legislation for further exceptions.

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Payments

Where and how can I pay my land tax?

Payment of your Notice of Land Tax Assessment can be made in full as per the Total Amount Due on your notice or by quarterly instalments. Part payments will not be accepted.

Payment information is detailed on the reverse of your Notice of Land Tax Assessment or on the Payments page.

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What happens if I do not pay my land tax?

If payment is not received by the due date as indicated on the original notice or if the instalment option is chosen, failure to meet any instalment payment will result in the unpaid remainder of the full annual amount becoming immediately due and payable and a final notice will be issued to the owner. Penalty tax and interest may also be added.

If the debt still remains outstanding after the due date on the final notice, the matter will then be referred to a debt recovery area to pursue payment and/or commence legal action. In addition penalty tax, interest & fees may be applied to unpaid amounts. Ultimately a property may be sold for non-payment of land tax, much the same as unpaid council rates.

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How are penalties and interest calculated in cases of late payment?

The Taxation Administration Act 1996 (TAA) allows for a flat penalty tax of 75% of the unpaid land tax to be imposed in instances of the deliberate non-payment of land tax, or 25% for any other situation. The Commissioner of State Taxation has exercised discretion to reduce the 25% penalty tax to the rate of 5% of the annual primary land tax outstanding provided the further assessment is paid in full by the due date. The TAA also allows for interest to be imposed on unpaid tax on a daily basis from the due date until the date the land tax is paid.

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Site Value

Who determines the site value used to calculate land tax?

The site value is determined by the State Valuation Office. The value is determined using industry recognised valuation processes that take into consideration the sales and related market evidence and all other matters that may have an impact on the value of a property.

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What if I disagree with the site value of my property?

You may object to the valuation within 60 days after the date of service of the Notice of Land Tax Assessment.

But Note:

(a) if you have previously received a notice or notices under the Land Tax Act 1936 referring to the valuation and informing you of a 60 day objection period, the objection period is 60 days after service of the first such notice.

(b) you may not object to the valuation if the Valuer-General has already considered an objection by you to that valuation.

Your objection must contain a full and detailed statement of the grounds on which the objection is based. Your objection can be directed to:

  • in person: State Valuation Office, 101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA 5000
  • mail: GPO Box 1354, Adelaide SA 5001
  • email: LSGObjections@sa.gov.au
  • online: Standard objection forms are available from the Land Services Group website.

Objection to Valuation Enquiries: Phone: 1300 653 345.

If you lodge an objection, you are still required to pay your land tax by the due date. If your objection is upheld which results in a reduction in land tax, then a refund may be issued.

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Sold after 30 June

I sold a property AFTER 30 June. Who is liable for the land tax?

The owner of the property as at midnight 30 June is liable to pay the land tax assessed for the forthcoming financial year. Where a property was sold after 30 June, the vendor (seller) is still liable for the land tax.

The Land Tax Act 1936 does not provide for pro rata payments or apportionment of the land tax where properties are sold and/or purchased during a financial year.

It is a common practice (although not a legal requirement) for land conveyancers and solicitors to arrange a proportional adjustment between the purchaser and the vendor of land, for any applicable land tax at the time of land settlement. This adjustment should be calculated as if the property being sold is the only taxable property in the ownership.

Any specific questions regarding the apportionment of the land tax or payment of the tax at settlement should be directed to your land conveyancer or solicitor.

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