Who Pays Land Tax?
Generally, land tax applies to all residential properties which are not an owner’s “principal place of residence”.
If you own a residential property that is rented or left vacant, you are liable for land tax on that property. This also applies to boarding houses and multiple dwellings, including dual occupancies and granny flats that are rented. Rent can include cash, services or any other valuable consideration earned in respect of a property for which any form of tenancy arrangement exists.
We suggest you check online at: ACT Revenue Office to confirm the requirement to pay land tax or if you are eligible for a concession.
Commercial properties are not subject to land tax.
Responsibilities of Owners and Agents
You are required to advise the Commissioner for ACT Revenue within 30 days if a residential property you purchase, or have an interest in, is rented or becomes rented. You are also required to advise the Commissioner of any future changes in circumstances that may render any such property liable for land tax within 30 days of the change occurring. Failure to provide the required information is a tax default and you may incur interest and penalties in addition to the primary tax. Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence.
Agents may be required to fulfil any undischarged obligations of a taxpayer where the agent has possession, control or management of the taxpayer’s business or property. Any information regarding land tax liability must be notified in writing.
How is Land Tax Calculated?
Land tax liability is assessed quarterly for all properties and is based on the status of a property on 1 July, 1 October, 1 January and 1 April (liability dates). Land tax is assessed for a whole quarter and there is no daily pro-rata of land tax liability within a financial quarter.
Quarterly land tax assessments are based on the Average Unimproved Value (AUV) that includes the unimproved land values of the property.
If the owner is dissatisfied with the newly determined unimproved land value of the property, they may only lodge an objection to the resultant rates assessment and not to the land tax assessment. If your objection to the rates assessment is successful and the unimproved land value is redetermined, the land tax assessment will automatically be recalculated based on the new average unimproved value.