Assessment of land tax

From the 2020-21 financial year, changes apply to how land tax is assessed for land owned in multiple ownerships or held in trust. Provisions were also introduced to group land owned by related corporations for the assessment of land tax. If you own land with different persons or corporations, and land tax applies, you may receive more than one Land Tax Assessment.

Land tax is calculated based on site value, land use and ownership at midnight 30 June each year.

Site value

Who determines the site value of my property?

The site value is determined by the Office of the Valuer-General. The value is determined using industry-recognised valuation processes which include sales and related market evidence and all other matters that may have an impact on the value of a property.

The site value used for land tax is the value of a parcel of land excluding structural improvements, but including improvements such as draining, filling, retaining walls, excavating, grading or levelling of land, removal of rocks, stone, sand or soil, and the clearing of timer, scrub or other vegetation.

What if I disagree with the valuation on my Land Tax Assessment?

If you disagree with the valuation, you may lodge an objection with the Valuer-General.

Find out more about how to lodge an objection on our Objections and Appeals page.

Ownerships

Land tax is assessed on land owned by

This web page explains how land tax is assessed for natural persons and corporations that are NOT in a related corporate group.

What is an ownership?

An ownership consists of all the land owned by the same registered owner(s). This could be one or more persons, trusts or corporations.

The registered owner(s) of land are those who are registered on the Certificate of Title. There are some exceptions to this general rule. See the Other Ownerships section below.

An ownership may contain one parcel of land or multiple properties, depending on how many properties the registered owner(s) own.

What is an individual ownership?

Where there is only one registered owner on the Certificate of Title.

What is a joint ownership?

Where there are 2 or more registered owners on the Certificate of Title.

Other ownerships

This webpage explains how land tax is assessed for natural persons and corporations that are not in a related corporate group.

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.

Where an owner owns land in multiple ownership structures (that is, with different sets of owners) taxable land you own jointly with others will first be assessed in the joint ownership, the the individual's share will be assessed in the owner's individual ownership along with any other land, or share of land, they own.

If you hold land on trust you must notify RevenueSA within one month of the trust acquiring the land. Failing to notify us may mean that you are charged interest and penalty tax on the additional amount of land tax that would have been assessed if you had notified.

Land held on trust will be assessed separately from other land owned by the trustee and may be subject to a higher rate of land tax and a lower land tax threshold.

Find out more on our land held on trust page.

There are changes to the way land is assessed for related corporations from the 2020-21 financial year, which includes grouping and assessing all land owned by a corporate group as though they land is held by a single owner.

Find out more on our related corporations page.

While there may not be any physical land associated with the apartment, the apartment is built on land and a site value is determined for each apartment by the Valuer-General. The owner of the apartment is seen as an owner of land for land tax purposes.

The owner of the unit, townhouse or similar under a strata or community title is seen as the owner for land tax purposes.

Site value is determined by the Valuer-General for each unit, townhouse or similar. The site value is used to assess land tax.

If the unit, townhouse or similar is owned under a strata or community title, the site value will not include common land (for example, shared driveways).

The relevant community corporation of community titles will be liable for any common land that attracts land tax.

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

  • the shack site is 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 at midnight 30 June 1989 over the land and the term of the lease is at least 40 years.

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.

Find out more about the above 3 common shack site exceptions and other exceptions in our Land Tax Guide to Legislation.

From the 2020-21 financial year, minor interests may be disregarded when considering a principal place of residence exemption.

Between the 2008-09 and 2019-20 financial years, minor interest provisions were in place to stop owners of more than one piece of land avoiding higher rates of land tax by structuring their land holdings to create different legal ownerships. By structuring their land holdings so another party (or parties) held a minor interest in an individual piece of land, their land would have been assessed and taxed differently.

Find our more about minor interest provisions on our Minor Interests in Land page.

Assessment of land tax

How is my land tax calculated?

Land tax is calculated according to the ownership of each parcel of land, with land grouped by ownership.

Whether you own land in only one ownership or in multiple ownerships, you can find details of the assessment process below.


Information for those who own land in multiple ownerships

How is my share of the land determined?

If you own the land as tenants in common, we will assess you on your share of the land, as specified on the Certificate of Title.

If you own the land as joint tenants, we will assume you own an equal share in the land as all the other owners.

What if my spouse or domestic partner owns land?

If you own land in your own right, and your spouse or domestic partner also owns land in their own right, this land will not be combined together.

How can I confirm my share of the land?

Taxpayers can obtain information regarding their ownership of land through the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS), website www.sailis.sa.gov.au.


Deduction

What is a Deduction?

The deduction is an amount you may receive on your individual Land Tax Assessment which stops you from being double taxed on land already taxed in the joint ownership.

The deduction is equivalent to the land tax assessed on land in a joint ownership in proportion to your share of ownership.


Example

Joe owns land with Moe (each have an interest of 50%) and also land on his own.

Total land tax assessed on the jointly owned land is $2,500: 50% of which is $1,250.

Joe’s individual Land Tax Assessment will reflect a deduction of $1,250.


This deduction is taken off your entire individual liability. This means the deduction reduces your overall tax liability on your individual Land Tax Assessment, even where your individual liability is created because of other land you own.

If your deduction is greater than your individual Land Tax Assessment, your individual liability reduces to zero and you may not be issued with an individual Land Tax Assessment.

How is land tax distributed where an ownership has more than one taxable property?

Land tax is apportioned to each taxable property in the ownership based on the taxable site value of each taxable property.

Example

A person owns a non-trust ownership containing 2 taxable properties:

  • Property A with a site value of $320,000
  • Property B with a site value of $460,000.

Land tax on the total $780,000 is calculated:

   Tax on $723,000= $1,365.00
+ tax on $57,000 (that is $780,000 - $723,000) @ $1.25 for every $100 or part of $100= $712.50
  Total land tax payable= $2,077.50

The total land tax payable ($2,077.50) is apportioned, or shared, on the Land Tax Assessment as follows:

  • Property A's share of land tax
    = site value of property / total taxable site value x total land tax payable
    = $320,000 / $780,000 x $2,077.50 = $852.30
  • Property B's share of land tax
    = site value of property / total taxable site value x total land tax payable
    = $460,000 / $780,000 x $2,077.50 = $1,225.20

Exempt from land tax

What if my land is exempt from land tax?

If you own land that is ‘excepted’ or ‘exempted’ from land tax, it will not be included in the taxable value of any other land you own for the purposes of assessing land tax.

Your Land Tax Assessment will list all South Australian property that you own, or partly own, including land that is exempt from land tax. Your exemption will be indicated by a code in the ‘site value’ column on your Statement of land held and the type of exemption will be listed in the ‘Explanation of codes’ area.

Land that is exempt will not be included in the calculation of land tax payable.

Find out more about land tax exemptions

Land held on trust

What about land held on trust?

Land you hold on trust may be taxed at the Trust land tax rates, which includes a surcharge of up to 0.5% on the general land tax rates and a lower threshold of $25,000.

You are also required to notify RevenueSA of any land you hold on trust.

View the land held on trust page for more information about how trusts are assessed for land tax.

More information

Guide to Legislation: Land Tax changes for Joint Owners, Land Held on Trust & Related Corporations

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