Generally, residential land occupied by the owner as their principal place of residence will be exempt from land tax. Where the owner moves permanently into residential care the criteria for exemption is no longer met and the land may attract a land tax liability.

Where the sale is still to be finalised, relief may be available for the first financial year following the owner moving into residential care.

When will the land be liable for land tax?

Land tax is levied each financial year based on the ownership as at midnight, 30 June, immediately prior to the financial year commencing.

If the owner has moved into residential care on an ongoing basis and still owns the property on 30 June, the land may be liable for land tax for the following financial year.

If the owner leaves their principal place of residence on a temporary basis to reside in a residential care facility or hospital due to illness or incapacity, the principal place of residence exemption previously applied to the land will continue, providing the owner returns to live in the home within 12 months, and no rental income was generated from the property in their absence.

Is relief from land tax available?

Relief may be available for the first financial year following the owner’s permanent move into residential care.

While there are no legislative provisions which provide an exemption in these circumstances, it is considered unfair that the owner incur a land tax liability due to the time taken to sell their previous home. An ex gratia payment to cover any land tax payable on the land for the first full financial year following their move into care may be provided by the State Government.

When did the owner have to live in the home?

The home must have been the owner’s principal place of residence, immediately prior to them moving into residential care.

What is a principal place of residence?

A principal place of residence is where the land (home):

  • is the primary residence of the owner(s);
  • is the owner(s) usual residence; (that is, where they undertake their normal living activities, such as eating and sleeping);
  • is occupied on an ongoing basis, that is, occupation is not merely transitory or an intention to occupy; and
  • has buildings which are predominately residential in nature.

View more information on the principal place of residence exemption.

Can the owner have moved in with family to access this relief?

The owner must have moved into a residential care facility operated by an approved provider as defined under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth).

What is residential care?

Residential care is either personal care or nursing care or both, that is provided to a person in a residential facility in which the person is also provided with accommodation that includes:

  • appropriate staffing to meet the nursing and personal care needs of the person;
  • meals and cleaning services;
  • furnishings, furniture and equipment for the provision of that care and accommodation; and
  • meets any other requirements specified.

Residential care does not include any of the following:

  • care provided to a person in the person’s private home;
  • care provided in a hospital or in a psychiatric facility;
  • care provided in a facility that primarily provides care to people who are not frail and aged; or
  • care that is specified not to be residential care.

-- Section 41(3) Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth)

Who is an approved provider?

An approved provider is a person or body approved under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth), including facilities conducted by the State of South Australia or local government authority.

Can a relative of the owner live in the property while the owner is in residential care?

Yes, a relative may live in the property providing they do not pay rent. If they pay rent, the property will not be eligible for relief.

What if the property has been rented?

The property must not generate rental income between the time the owner moves into residential care and the date the land is transferred or sold.

If the property has generated or will generate rental income, it will not be eligible for relief.

How do I apply for relief?

You can apply online. (Select Owner vacated property due to moving into residential care as the property type option that best describes the use or circumstances of the property.)

Before you commence your application, you will need:

  • Your ownership number. This can be found in the top right corner of your land tax or emergency services levy notice of assessment.
  • The assessment number of the property. This can be found on your land tax or emergency services levy notice of assessment, water rates or council rates notice.
  • Supporting documentation, such as a copy of:
    • The residential care facility admission letter.