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Ex gratia relief from the land tax foreign surcharge

A surcharge of 2% applies in addition to land tax on land owned by foreign companies and trustees of foreign trusts (foreign entities).

As part of the coronavirus relief package, the surcharge was waived for the 2019–20 assessment year.

From the 2020–21 assessment year, we may consider ex gratia relief from this surcharge for foreign entities that make a significant contribution to the Queensland economy and community.

A foreign entity that essentially holds land passively as a landlord or property investor is not considered to be undertaking activities that make a significant contribution.

The relief only applies to the foreign surcharge component of the land tax liability. If approved, you must send us a statutory declaration to confirm that you continue to meet the conditions for relief each financial year.

There are two types of ex gratia relief you can apply for, depending on your circumstances.

  • In principle pre-approval—before a liability for land tax has arisen (at midnight 30 June), you can apply for an indication of whether ex gratia relief will be granted. For example, you may apply for in principle pre-approval before entering into a transaction to acquire land.
    Relief can only be granted once a liability has arisen, so you will still need to apply for ex gratia approval even if you have received in principle pre-approval.
  • Ex gratia approval—after a liability for land tax has arisen (at midnight 30 June), you can apply for ex gratia approval. You do not need to have applied for in principle pre-approval first.

Read the public ruling on ex gratia relief from the land tax foreign surcharge (LTA000.4) for more information.

How to apply

Send the following documents to LTFSrelief@treasury.qld.gov.au

If you are also applying for ex gratia relief from additional foreign acquirer duty (AFAD), we can consider both applications at the same time. You may use the same supporting documentation for both applications.

To avoid unnecessary delays, it is important that you provide all required information with the application.

We will send you an email confirming our decision.

Approved applications

The land tax rates that apply to Australian company and trustee land owners will continue to apply, even if you are granted relief from the foreign surcharge.

If your application is approved before the due date on your land tax assessment notice, the approved relief amount will not need to be paid. Any outstanding amount will be confirmed in our decision email to you.

If you have already paid the foreign surcharge component of your land tax liability, the approved relief amount will be refunded.

Once relief has been granted, you must provide a statutory declaration each financial year confirming that the entity continues to satisfy the conditions under public ruling LTA000.4. We may also request supporting information and documents.

You must submit a new application if your circumstances change after you have been approved, even if you continue to satisfy the conditions.

Unsuccessful applications

If your application for ex gratia relief is not approved, you must pay your land tax liability (including the foreign surcharge) by the due date on the assessment notice. Failure to pay by the due date may result in interest and/or penalties.

Changes of circumstance

If ex gratia relief is approved, you must notify the Office of State Revenue within 28 days of the following:

  • you no longer comply with or satisfy the conditions for relief
  • there has been a material change in the circumstances that existed when the approval was given.

Failure to notify is a breach of the ex gratia conditions and you may be required to pay the foreign surcharge amount.