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Special land tax is a one-off tax charged in certain circumstances where land that has been exempt from land tax is no longer exempt.

From 16 December 2020, special land tax no longer applies. This means that if land was previously exempt from land tax under any of the above categories of exemption ceases to be exempt on or after 16 December 2020, the owner will not be liable for the one-off tax payment.

Special land tax is different from BTR special land tax, which relates to the build-to-rent land tax concession and absentee owner land tax exemption.  BTR special land tax can apply after 16 December 2020.

When does it apply?

If certain land loses its exempt status before 16 December 2020, special land tax will apply. The liability arises when the relevant exemption ceases to apply to the land. These exemptions include:

  • sporting, recreational or cultural land
  • rooming houses
  • residential care facilities and supported residential services
  • residential services for people with disabilities
  • caravan parks
  • land owned by a public statutory authority, and
  • land used as a mine.

Note: Special land tax does not apply if land ceases to be exempt land only because it is compulsorily acquired.

The date special land tax is payable will be set out in the notice of assessment sent to you.

What is the rate?

It is charged at a rate of 5% of the taxable value of the land and is imposed on the date the land ceases to be exempt. If you are an absentee owner, you will be charged a rate of:

  • 5.5% if the land ceased to be exempt in 2016
  • 6.5% if the land ceased to be exempt from 2017, and
  • 7.0% if the land ceases to be exempt from 2020.

Who is liable?

Where one of the exemptions listed above is lost immediately or within 60 days of a change of ownership, the person who owned the land immediately prior to the change of ownership is liable to be assessed for special land tax. In these circumstances, the person liable is generally unable to defer payment.

If there is no change of ownership, the person who owned the land immediately after the exemption ceases to apply is liable. That person may elect to defer payment for three years, or until such time as there is a change in ownership of any part of the land, whichever is sooner.

If you have received a special land tax assessment and want to defer payment of the special land tax, please contact us on 13 21 61.

Last modified: 5 December 2022
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