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Types of owner for land tax

Your liability for land tax is based on land you own at midnight 30 June each year.

Generally, the owner of land is the person or corporation registered as the owner with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME).

However, an owner may also include a person:

  • with a legal entitlement to the land who has possession
  • entitled to rents and profits from the land
  • otherwise taken to be the owner; for example, through undisclosed trusts, vendor-finance arrangements, life estates or deceased estates.

Generally, an owner of land does not include:

  • a mortgagee of the land
  • a body corporate for land held under a community titles scheme
  • an occupant of the land under a general tenancy or lease agreement.

The land tax rate depends on which of the following owner categories best describes you:

  • individuals (people who usually live in Australia; and Australian citizens and permanent visa holders living, working or travelling overseas)
  • absentees (foreign individuals who do not ordinarily reside in Australia)
  • companies (including clubs, associations and societies)
  • trustees (including trustees of deceased persons' estates)
  • foreign companies (incorporated outside Australia, or in which foreign persons or related persons have a controlling interest of at least 50%)
  • trustees of foreign trusts (where at least 50% of the trust interests are foreign interests).

There is no separate land tax rate for seniors or pensioners.

Because a person may own land, for example, as an individual, a trustee of a trust, and through a family company, they may be liable for land tax and receive a separate assessment for each of these legal entities. This is on the basis that the taxable value of all land owned in the name of each entity is above the threshold.

Find out more about how the taxable value is determined for land held in the name of separate legal entities.

Individuals

If you usually live in Australia—or you are an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder living, working or travelling overseas—the land tax rates for individuals will apply to the land you own.

As an individual, you are liable for land tax if the total taxable value of your freehold land at 30 June is $600,000 or more.

Any land you own as a trustee will be assessed separately.

You can apply for exemptions to reduce the total taxable value of your land.

Absentees

If you are a foreign individual and do not usually live in Australia or an external territory, you may be an absentee for land tax purposes.

Find out more about absentees and the land tax rates that apply.

Foreign individuals working overseas

In limited cases, the land tax rates for individuals will continue to apply to you if you are a foreign individual who previously resided in Australia and commenced working overseas. For this to apply, you must:

  • be a public officer of the Commonwealth or of a state, who is absent in the performance of your duties
    or
  • have been working for your employer in Australia for at least 1 continuous year before you go overseas, and are directed by that employer to continue working for them overseas for a period less than 5 years. If the period is longer, you will be reassessed as an absentee for the whole time you are overseas.

If, as a foreign individual, you have received the benefit of the above arrangements, complete an absentee/resident status declaration (Form LT16) and send it to us within 28 days of:

  • ceasing to work for your employer
  • working overseas for more than 5 years (public officers excluded).

Companies

The land tax rates for companies and trustees will apply.

A company will be liable for land tax if the total taxable value of its freehold land is $350,000 or more.

You may be able to apply for exemptions to reduce your total taxable value.

Trustees

The land tax rates for companies and trustees will apply.

In Queensland, trust land is registered in the name of the trustee. If your assessment includes both trust and non-trust-owned land, or is not assessed at the rate for trustees, call us on 1300 300 734 to discuss the trust relationship.

As a trustee, you are liable for land tax if the total taxable value of the freehold land held for that trust is $350,000 or more.

You may be able to apply for exemptions to reduce your total taxable value.

When calculating your total taxable value, we will not add the value of land held for one trust to the value of any other land you hold as:

  • trustee of another trust, unless it is a cloned trust
  • an individual or company.

Read the public ruling on assessment of trustees (LTA020.1) for more information.

Foreign companies

The land tax rates for companies and trustees will apply.

A foreign company will be liable for land tax if the total taxable value of its freehold land is $350,000 or more. Foreign companies also pay a surcharge of 2% of the taxable value of their land.

Trustees of foreign trusts

The land tax rates for companies and trustees will apply.

Trustees of a foreign trust will be liable for land tax if the total taxable value of their freehold land is $350,000 or more. They also pay a surcharge of 2% of the taxable value of the land.