Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a State tax on written documents and certain transactions, such as:

  • Hire purchase agreements
  • Motor vehicle registration and transfer
  • Leases and mortgages
  • Insurance policies
  • Transfers of property.

Amounts of the duty will vary between States and Territories according to the type and value of the transaction involved. The precise rules vary according to the individual State or Territory legislation. Certain exemptions and concessions may also be available.

Your lawyer will calculate this amount and ensure that the correct amount is paid at the right time prior to settlement.

Late payment

Stamp Duty must usually be paid within 3 months of exchange of contracts (however this may vary depending upon which State the exchange took place and the type document) or, if you have an incoming mortgagee, prior to or at settlement. In the event of an extended or delayed settlement you are reminded that if Stamp Duty is not paid within three (3) months of the first date of execution of the contract, the Office of State Revenue will impose a penalty interest to be calculated on a daily basis. Your lawyer or licensed conveyancer will ensure that such penalties are not incurred and that the Stamp Duty payment is made on time.

Exemptions and discounts

From time to time various State and Federal Government schemes will allow certain classes of property buyers to gain a discount or exemption from payment of the stamp duty. Public tenants are typically exempt from payment of stamp duty.


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