Many homebuyers view stamp duty as a significant obstacle to their homeownership goals. Many are keen to avoid it, so it’s not surprising.

A recent survey by Gateway BankIt was discovered that 63% believed that eliminating stamp duty would speed up the process of buying a home. Only 25% believed it would increase their homeownership timeline by 3 years.

700 Australians were interviewed by the bank about their plans to purchase a home within the next four years. Nearly a third (32%), said that the current stamp duty rates are prohibitive.

But what is the point of stamp duties? Many homebuyers don’t like stamp duty. There are several ways to avoid this tax. Let’s dig a little deeper.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty, also known as land tax or land transfer tax, is a tax that states or territories levy in order to transfer property to your name. It’s an additional cost that is added to the purchase price of the property. This will depend on many factors such as how much you paid for it and what type of property you purchased.

Our stamp duty calculator calculates how much tax you will need to purchase the house.

Homebuyers are typically required to pay the stamp duty directly to the state or territory’s revenue office within 30 days to three months of settlement. To help you navigate this complex process, you should consult a lawyer or conveyancer.

Stamp duty, although often misunderstood, serves a purpose. The collected funds are put towards improving your state or territory’s services, including healthcare, law enforcement, planning, and infrastructure, so it is worth noting that your money will be going towards the greater benefit.

Do you have the ability to avoid paying stamp duties?

Each territory and state has its own rules for who is exempt from stamp duty. Below are the exemptions.

New South Wales

First home buyers in NSW can receive stamp duty exemptions for properties under $800,000. Existing homes cannot exceed $650,000. This is part of First Homes Buyers Assistance. Transfer duty concessions can be obtained for new homes between $800,000 and $1m as well as existing homes between $650,000 and $880,000.

If vacant land will be used as a home, there is no transfer duty. Concessions rates don’t apply to land with a value between $400,000-$500,000.

Family homes that are transferred between married couples or de facto spouses within the last two years do not attract stamp duty


Victorian FHBs are exempted of stamp duty for properties below $600,000. Homes between $600,001 and $750,000.

Last November, the state government announced that it would cut tariffs by 50% for new residential properties and 25% on vacant land in its COVID-19 economic revitalization package. Homes that were bought before 1 July 2021 are eligible for these concessions.

Victoria exempts all stamp duty from eligible pensioners for home purchases above $330,000. The total value of the incentive amounts to $12,750. After the $750,000 threshold is reached, the amount of duty concession drops.


FHBs in Queensland may be eligible for stamp duty exemptions of up to $550,000 on properties over 550,000 and vacant land above 400,000. The price at which the property was purchased will determine whether concessions are available.

South Australia

While the state doesn’t offer stamp duties concessions to first-time property owner, they may be eligible for an off–the-plan stamp exemption if their apartment has been substantially renovated and is less than 500,000.

Western Australia

Stamp duty exemptions are possible for FHBs in Western Australia if they buy homes less than $430,000 or vacant property less than $300,000. Concessions are also available for properties between $430,000 and $530,000 and vacant land between $300,000.000 – $400,000.

Stamp duty is not payable if the house was the primary residence of a married couple or their de facto partner.

A stamp duty rebate is available for off-the plan purchases between 23 Oct 2019 and 23 Oct 2021. Even if construction hasn’t begun, this rebate is available. To be eligible, buyers must have signed contracts for units under construction between 20 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.

75% of the transferred duty is paid will be refunded. The rebate is limited to units not yet under construction and at $50,000 for those that have already begun construction. The scheme is open to buyers who already own property. The purchase price is unlimited.


FHBs from Tasmanian households are eligible for a 50% discount on stamp duty if the property is worth more than $400,000.

If they served as their PPOR or were joint tenants, tenants together, or tenants in equal share, home transfers between married partners and de facto spouses are exempted form stamp duty.

Tasmanian government offers 50% off transfer duty to eligible pensioners when they downsize their home and buy another property. The new property cannot be worth more than $400,000 or less that their old home.

A homeowner must also be the downsizer if they purchased the house between 10 February 2018 and 30 June 2022. The plan was to expire on 30 juin 2020. The extension was extended for an additional two years.

Australian Capital Territory

In July 2019, ACT’s First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) has been replaced by the Home Buyer Concession Scheme, which provides a full stamp duty exemption for buyers who have not owned any property in the last two years. The government also set the following income threshold

Number of dependents

Maximum gross income

(If applicable, includes partners).











5 or more


Eligible pensioners get a $9360 discount for purchases of homes above $440,000. Transfer duty discounts are available for property values below $570,000 The scheme will remain in effect until June 30th.

If you are an owner-occupier who plans to downsize, but not reach retirement age yet, you might be eligible for a $11,400 Stamp Duty Discount if you purchase new residential blocks or townhouses that exceed $750,000.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory offers up $18,601 Territory owner discount (THOD), which helps reduce stamp duty costs for homebuyers who do not have property in the territory in the past two years. The property’s maximum value cannot exceed $650,000

Eligible pensioners are eligible to receive a $10,000 stamp tax incentive from the government for home purchase up to $750,000, and vacant land of $385,000. Downsizers who purchase properties worth $292,000.00 do not need to pay transfer duty. This scheme will be in effect until June 30th.