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Spouses and domestic partners often transfer property between themselves.

Before 1 July 2017, transfers between spouses or domestic partners were exempt from duty regardless of the type of property.

Since 1 July 2017, only transfers of a principal place of residence (PPR) made for no consideration are exempt.

There has been no change to the exemption for transfers resulting from the breakdown of a marriage or domestic relationship.

Principal place of residence requirement

To be exempt from duty, the property being transferred between spouses or domestic partners must be a residential property.

This means at least one person in the relationship must live in the property as their principal place of residence (PPR) for a continuous period of at least 12 months commencing within 12 months of the transfer.

This residence requirement can be varied but you need to contact us to explain why the variation is required and we must be satisfied that it is a good reason. If there is a change in your circumstances affecting your ability to meet the residence requirement, you must notify us in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of that change. The transfer will be subject to duty.

No consideration requirement

The transfer of the principal place of residence must be for no consideration.

Couples will satisfy this requirement if a spouse or partner transferee gives a mortgage to:

  • Secure the same or a greater amount as the amount outstanding immediately before the transfer, or
  • Assumes the liabilities under the mortgage. 

However, the couple must not have entered into these arrangements to take advantage of this exemption. The Commissioner will be satisfied that this is the case if the mortgage was:

  • Created at or before the time of the transfer,
  • Part of a genuine refinancing of a mortgage created at or before the time of the transfer, 
  • Created to secure borrowings applied to the improvement of the property.

You can easily apply for this exemption.