In addition, there are four specific exemptions from the vacant residential land tax which may apply to your property.
Change of ownership
Properties which change ownership during a calendar year will be exempt from the tax in the following year.
For example, a property that is sold and transferred during 2018 will be exempt for the 2019 tax year.
The change of ownership must actually occur during the calendar year. It is not enough that the property is available for sale or awaiting settlement as at 31 December.
The property becomes residential during the preceding calendar year
Land that becomes residential land during the calendar year will not be subject to the tax in the following year.
For example, a warehouse that is converted into residential apartments during 2018 will be exempt for the 2019 calendar year. Similarly, where construction of a new home has just been completed, the property will be exempt for the following tax year.
Holiday home exemption
The holiday home exemption applies to properties which are used and occupied by the owner as their holiday home (a second home) for at least four weeks in a calendar year.
In addition, the owner must have had a principal place of residence in Australia (not necessarily one that they own themselves, but one that they occupied as their home) in the relevant year.
The Commissioner of State Revenue must also be satisfied that the property was a genuine holiday home, having regard to its location and distance between the owner’s actual home and the holiday home, as well as the frequency and nature of its use.
An owner will only be able to claim one holiday home exemption in a calendar year.
Work accommodation exemption
This exemption applies to properties used and occupied by the owner, whose home is elsewhere in Australia, for work purposes.
The property must be occupied by the owner for at least 140 days in a calendar year for the purpose of attending their workplace or conducting business. To be eligible for the exemption, the workplace must be located in one of the specified local council areas.
For example, John lives in Mildura with his family, but his job requires him to work 3 days a week in the city. John owns an apartment in Docklands which he uses while he is working in Melbourne. If John uses the property for more than 140 days for his work, the property will be exempt from the vacant residential land tax in the following tax year.