It’s time to prepare your land tax return or if you haven’t yet, get a property tax accountant to do it for you. Whilst it’s not due to be lodged until the new year it’s time to start looking at your portfolio and gathering your documents together to ensure the preparation and lodgment is done on time.
Land Tax Payments
Owners of investment properties, including holiday homes, must pay land tax in the state their property is located in.
Land tax is an annual tax payable on the unimproved value of your land only and not including the building on the property.
If you’re renting out your property, you are also liable. The tax will be assessable for the period your home was rented out.
Land Tax Rules
Different states have different rules. Thresholds for individuals, partnerships, trusts, companies, and SMSFs also differ. If you have several properties across different states, paying your tax can get complicated and hiring a property tax accountant may prove cost-effective.
Generally, individuals, companies, and SMSFs have their own land tax thresholds. Similarly, partnerships have their own threshold though individual partners receive a second assessment at a secondary level after crediting their share at the primary partnership level.
Land Tax Assessment Dates
Here are the assessment dates for each state.
- NSW – Midnight 31st December
- VIC – Midnight 31st December
- QLD – Midnight 30th June
- TAS – 1st July
- ACT – (has been divided into 3 sectors for billing purposes)
- Sector 1 – 15th November, 15th February, 15th May
- Sector 2 – 15th September, 15th March, 15th June
- Sector 3 – 15th October, 15th January, 15th July
- SA – midnight 30th June
- WA – 30th June
The assessment date December 31 covers January 1 to December 30 while June 30 assessment date covers July 1 the previous year to June 29 present year.
What this means is that if you own a property even for one day on or before your assessment date, you will have to pay land tax for the whole year. And if you sold the property on January 2, 2019 (or July 2, 2018) for example, you will still be liable for the whole 2019 calendar year (or 2019 financial year).
This is one of those cases where having a property tax accountant could save you a lot in taxes.
Manage your land tax online or get a property tax accountant to do it for you. Either way, lodge your return now to avoid penalties.
Following are the websites for State Revenue Offices around the country. You can also find on each website, information about the different land tax thresholds and treatment for trusts.
- NSW – http://www.osr.nsw.gov.au/
- VIC – http://www.sro.vic.gov.au/
- QLD – https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/
- TAS – http://www.sro.tas.gov.au/
- ACT – http://www.revenue.act.gov.au/
- SA – https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/
- WA – https://www.finance.wa.gov.au/
Websites of these offices make it possible to:
- lodge your return online
- view your assessment notice
- calculate your land tax to know how much you need to pay
To get started, simply register on the website. In most states, you can also opt in to receive Notice of Valuation in your email. Check your state’s website to know more about opt-in Notice of Valuation to get your next notice by email.
The Notice of Valuation will show you the value of your land, which is used to calculate your tax.
First Land Tax Return
In most states, land tax is self-assessing. That is, until you lodge your first return, the government will not be aware of your liability. But only until you are audited or when you try to sell the property and the solicitor requires a tax clearance.
When this happens and you are found to be avoiding tax, the state government will fine you penalties including interest, for violation of the law.
Once you lodge your first land tax return, your record will be in the system and in most states, you will receive an annual land tax assessment or Notice of Valuation automatically each year.
The state government will increase your tax assessment based on the increased value of the land.
The assessed value can be contested as long as you can prove that the assessed value is too high. The Office uses the Valuer Generals land rate notice as a guide in assessing the unimproved value of the land.
Lodge now before it’s too late. If you need help with your tax, hire a professional. Get a property tax accountant to help you reduce your tax. Land tax may be reduced if the assessed value is higher than the current market value.
A property tax accountant can also help you plan your taxes so you’ll have more control of your taxes or plan the right time to sell or buy a property from a tax perspective.
If you need a property tax accountant to lodge your first land tax return, contact Chan & Naylor or your client manager for an assessment.
Helping protect your wealth and minimizing your tax
Need tax advice from a property tax accountant? Contact a Chan & Naylor accounting specialist here.
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The Chan & Naylor Group has national offices in South West Sydney, Sydney, Pymble and Parramatta in New South Wales, Wheelers Hill, Melbourne, Moonee Ponds and Hawthorn in Victoria, Brisbane and Capalaba in Queensland, and East Perth in Western Australia that can assist you with your accounting needs. Contact us here today.
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