What is Duty?

Duty is defined in the Duties Act as a debt due to the State of New South Wales. There are several different types of duty, such as insurance duty, motor vehicle duty, but the duty that we deal with the most in conveyancing is Transfer Duty also known as Stamp Duty. Other conveyancing related duties include surcharge purchaser duty and premium property duty.

Duty NSW

Duty is a great source of fundraising for the State Government of NSW.  In the 2017/2018 financial year funds raised from transfer duty equalled $8,409,510,629.31 a total of 220,313 land related transactions.

Transfer Duty:

Transfer Duty is payable on all purchases of Real Property in NSW. However are some exemptions and concessions available. Including

  • First Home Buyers – Exemptions on Duty up to a purchase price of $650,000 and concessions on Duty from $650,000 to $800,000. For Vacant Land where the purchaser will build their residence the exemptions are up to $350,000 and concessions from $350,000 to $450,000.
  • Break up of Marriages and other relationships – Pursuant to an order of a Court or a financial agreement made under the Family Law Act 1975
  • Transfer between married couples and defacto partners – Must be the principal place of residence or vacant land which is intended to be the site of the family home
  • Transfer of a deceased estate – Transferring the property to the surviving tenant or the executor or beneficiary in accordance with the terms of the Will
Premium Property Duty:

Premium property duty is payable on purchase price over $3,000,000. NSW Revenue has a useful transfer duty calculator here.

Surcharge Purchaser Duty:

The 2016 NSW Budget introduced a 4 per cent surcharge purchaser duty on the purchase of residential real estate by foreign persons from 21 June 2016. The duty is in addition to the regular duty paid by all purchasers. The 2017 Budget has increased the surcharge from 4 per cent to 8 per cent. Once again the surcharge is in addition to the duty payable on the purchase of residential property.

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