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 or financial institution.
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. Generally properties that are resided in by the owner as their principal place of residence are exempt from land 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. 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.
If you enter into a contract to purchase an apartment between 22 June 2017 and 30 June 2018, that is eligible for a stamp duty off-the-plan concession, you may be eligible for an exemption from land tax for up to five years from the date of settlement (if it is not your principal place of residence). You do not need to apply for this exemption as it will be applied automatically for the first five years based on your stamp duty off-the-plan concession. This exemption will cease for the following financial year if the apartment is sold before the end of the five year exemption period. The stamp duty concession and land tax exemption does not extend to foreign purchasers.
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.
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 Owner Grant (FHOG)
FHOG is a one-off grant payable to eligible first home owners on the:
Varying amounts of 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. Among other things, you or your spouse/domestic partner must not have held a relevant interest in an Australian residential property prior to 1 July 2000, you or your spouse/domestic partner must not have occupied an Australian residential property in which you had a relevant interest on or after 1 July 2000 for six months or longer, you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and the market value of the property must not exceed $575 000.
If you entered into an eligible transaction between 5 June 2008 and 14 October 2012, you may also be eligible for other grans and concessions. Please see the Other Grants and Concession page for more information.
Please review the eligibility checklist to ascertain whether you are eligible.
A First Home Owner Grant Application must be lodged with RevenueSA or your mortgage provider, assuming they are an Approved Agent.
Off-the-plan Stamp Duty Concession (OTP)
If you are purchasing a new or substantially refurbished apartment 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 2018. This concession is in addition to the FHOG.
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 2018.
A Pre-Construction Grant for Off-the-Plan Apartment Purchasers of $10 000 may also be available for contracts entered into between 22 June 2017 and 30 September 2017.