David owns and lives in a unit in Brisbane. His first-floor apartment is one of 14 units in the building, and the land valuation of the block on which it sits is $3,200,000. All 14 units are the same size, so David owns 1/14th, or 7%, of the total land: $224,000. This is under the land tax threshold, so David is not liable for land tax and so won’t need to apply for the home exemption.
What is land tax?
Land tax is a state tax, calculated on the freehold land you own in Queensland at midnight on 30 June each year. For example, the land tax liability for the 2021–22 financial year was calculated on 30 June 2021.
We collect land tax to provide government services and infrastructure for Queenslanders.
Find out what essential information we give to owners paying land tax for the first time about becoming liable.
Land liable for land tax
Land in Queensland is categorised as freehold, leasehold or state-owned.
Land tax is a tax on freehold land, which includes:
- vacant land
- land that is built on (e.g. your home, an investment property)
- lots in building unit plans
- lots in group title plans
- lots in a timeshare scheme
- lots owned by a home unit company.
If you own land in other states, it does not affect your liability for land tax in Queensland. Contact the relevant state’s tax office for information on your obligations and entitlements.
Shared ownership of land
If you own land jointly with other people, the taxable value of the land will be based on your respective shares. We will then add this to the value of all other land that you own to determine the total taxable value.
Units, apartments and other strata title
If you own a unit, you will own a percentage of the land on which the building sits. This is your ‘lot’ in the building unit plan.
The land value for each property appears on the annual council rates notice for that property. You can also find out exactly what percentage of the unit block’s land you own by contacting your body corporate or checking your sale contract or registry documents.
Find the land valuation for your unit block.
Jessica owns a house in Brisbane and several investment units throughout Queensland. The total value of all the land she owns is $1,950,000 so she is liable for land tax.
The land on which her Brisbane home sits is valued at $650,000. Because this is her home, she is entitled to apply for the home exemption.
The total value of the rest of the land Jessica owns adds up to $1,300,000. As the threshold is $600,000, Jessica is required to pay tax on the remaining $700,000.
Assessing land tax
Land tax is assessed (or calculated) on the total taxable value of an owner's Queensland freehold land.
We will add up the taxable value of all land that you own in Queensland at 30 June, excluding land on which you have received an exemption.
Different rates apply depending on this total value and what type of owner you are. You are liable when the total taxable value of your land is:
- $350,000 or more—for absentees, companies and trustees of trusts and superannuation funds
- $600,000 or more—for individuals.
Reassessments of your land tax can happen when certain events occur, which may increase or decrease your liability.
Buying and selling land
Generally, when you enter into a contract for the sale of land, the seller is the owner of the land until settlement.
Since land tax applies to the land you own on 30 June, it will not matter if you do not own the land for the full financial year. This means that we will not divide the liability between a buyer and seller.
However, if the buyer takes possession before settlement, they will be the owner of the land for land tax purposes. This may happen under a vendor finance arrangement, or to allow the buyer to start building.
Apply for a clearance certificate to make sure you are not charged land tax on land you are buying.
Find out more about when buying or selling land affects your land tax.