Land tax is a tax levied on the owners of land in NSW as at midnight on 31 December of each year. In general, your principal place of residence (your home) or land used for primary production (a farm) is exempt from land tax. Landowners are generally liable for land tax when the unimproved value of taxable land exceeds certain thresholds.

May be liable for land tax if you own or part-own:

•  vacant land, including vacant rural land
•  land where a house, residential unit or flat has been built
•  a holiday home
•  investment properties
•  company title units
•  residential, commercial or industrial units, including car spaces
•  commercial properties, including factories, shops and warehouses
•  land leased from state or local government.

Once you have registered for land tax you will be sent a notice of assessment from the Office of State Revenue based on the information you have supplied. This will show any land tax payable on the land you own. If you have previously registered for land tax, you do not need to complete another registration unless your ownership or usage details have changed.

As of 2013, the Valuer General has determined that the land tax threshold for the 2013 land tax year is $406,000. The premium land tax threshold for the 2013 land tax year is $2,482,000.

There are many concessions and exemptions that you may be eligible for. Since there are so many and it can be difficult to differentiate between them it is recommended that you seek our advice when applying for these concessions/exemptions. Check with us to see if you are eligible for any of the following:

•  Principal place of residence
•  Boarding houses
•  Land used for primary production
•  Low cost accommodation:
–  your property is within five kilometres of the Sydney GPO, and
–  you let a room or rooms under a Residential Tenancy Agreement, and
–  the rent is within the limits set by the Treasurer.
•  Residential parks, including caravan parks
•  Concessions for non-profit organisations
•  Retirement villages, aged care establishments and nursing homes
•  Conservation agreements
•  Special Trusts – where the trustee is the only person who meets the definition of ‘owner’ for land tax purposes, and the beneficiaries are not considered to be owners. If a trust does not meet one of the following trust definitions, it is a special trust. Examples of special trusts include most family trusts, discretionary trusts, some unit trusts and some trusts created by a will. The land tax threshold does not apply to special trusts which are taxed at a flat rate for amounts up to the premium land tax threshold and then at the premium rate thereafter.
•  Other exemptions:
–  Aboriginal Land Councils
–  land used for two or more purposes, each of which is exempt
–  land used for a child care centre, where the centre is licensed under the Children [Care and Protection] Act 1987 and where it is used for the provision of a child care service.

The threshold applies to:

•  Individuals (who own more than one property – the threshold applies to the secondary property)
•  Companies
•  Certain Fixed (i.e. Unit) Trusts
•  Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF)

For more information on land tax or to find out if you are eligible for any of the above concessions or exemptions contact our experienced team of lawyers and accountants here at The Quinn Group. For this, or any other accounting or legal advice submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to book an appointment.