Understanding your vacant residential land tax assessment
The vacant residential land tax started in 2018. The information here will help you understand why you have received a vacant residential land tax assessment and what you need to do.
It is important that you are paying the correct amount of vacant residential land tax, so it is essential to check the accuracy of your assessment and contact us promptly if there are any errors or omissions.
Your assessment notice should:
- List all the vacant residential property that you own within the 16 specified council areas.
- Set out the capital improved value (taxable value), which is used to calculate the vacant residential land tax on each property.
You can pay your assessment in a lump sum or by instalments using AutoPay Instalments. Payment options include BPAY and credit card, and you can also sign up with your financial institution to receive assessments through BPAY View.
Note: Vacant residential land tax is different to land tax and you may receive a separate assessment for land tax.
Answers to these frequently asked questions are designed to help you understand your vacant residential land tax assessment, including what you need to do if it is incorrect or you disagree with the assessment.
Why have I received an assessment?
You have received an assessment either because you have notified us that you own a vacant residential property or our records indicate that you do.
The first year that vacant residential land tax has to be paid is 2018.
What do I do when I receive my assessment?
Check your assessment to confirm these critical points:
- Your postal address is correct.
- All vacant residential land entirely owned by you and within the specified council areas is included in the assessment.
- If you own a vacant residential property with others, you should receive a separate assessment relating to that property. For example, if you own a vacant residential property on your own, the assessment you receive for that property, should not include any properties that you jointly own with others. If you own a vacant residential property with others, the assessment you receive for that jointly owned property should not include any properties you own in your own right.
- All properties shown on your assessment were owned by you as at midnight on 31 December of the previous year, for example a 2018 assessment details vacant residential properties owned by you as at midnight on 31 December 2017.
- Any vacant residential property you own that is eligible for an exemption from vacant residential land tax is marked as exempt.
- No properties are incorrectly marked as exempt.
If any of the details on your assessment are incorrect or you want to claim an exemption, you must tell us via our portal within 60 days of receiving your assessment.
You can appoint an authorised representative to receive all your vacant residential land tax assessments and correspondence. You need to provide us with your representative’s details before this can happen.
What if there are errors on my assessment?
Certain details are easy to change via our vacant residential land tax portal, including:
- updating your contact details,
- claiming an exemption,
- removing an exemption, and
- declaring another vacant residential property you own within one of the specified council areas.
If you receive more than one vacant residential land tax assessment for the same customer number, you must call us on 13 21 61. However, if you receive one assessment as the sole owner of a property and another assessment for a property you jointly own with others, there is no reason to call us.
What happens if I don’t notify you of errors and omissions?
If you don’t contact us about errors or omissions within 60 days of receiving your assessment, penalty tax may apply.
Notifying us of errors or omissions on your assessment means we can amend it and ensure you pay the right amount of tax at the right time.
Can I claim an exemption?
In addition, homes unoccupied for more than six months of the preceding year may be exempt from vacant residential land tax if:
- Ownership of the property changed during the preceding calendar year.
- The property became ’residential’ property during the preceding calendar year.
- The property was occupied by the owner for at least four weeks of the preceding calendar year as a holiday home. Homes owned by companies, associations or organisations are generally not eligible for this exemption.
- The property was occupied by the owner for at least 140 days of the preceding calendar year for the purpose of attending their workplace. Homes owned by companies, associations or organisations are generally not eligible for this exemption.
We have an online tool to help you find out if you may have to pay the vacant residential land tax or whether an exemption may apply.
How is vacant residential land tax calculated?
Vacant residential land tax is set at 1 per cent of the capital improved value of a taxable property. For example, if a vacant home has a capital improved value of $500,000, the tax is $5,000.
The capital improved value of a property is a value of the land, buildings and any other capital improvements made to the property as determined by the general valuation process. It is included on your assessment notice but is also displayed on the council rate notice for the property.
What if I disagree with my valuation?
Your vacant residential land tax assessment shows the capital improved value of the vacant residential land you own. The valuation, which is generally conducted by your local council, is used to calculate vacant residential land tax. If you disagree with this valuation, you can object to it but there are different ways of doing this.
If you disagree with the capital improved value on your vacant residential land tax assessment you can object by completing and lodging a Land Valuation Objection Form. A valuation objection must be lodged with us within two months of you receiving your assessment.
If you want to object to the valuation on your council rate notice, you need to contact your council directly.
If you have already lodged an objection to the valuation with your council or the State Revenue Office within the past 12 months, you cannot lodge another objection to that valuation.
How do I object to my assessment?
If you have an issue with your assessment that cannot be resolved by requesting a change and you think you have been incorrectly assessed, you can lodge a formal objection.
As this is a more formal process than requesting a change, you must complete and lodge an objection providing detailed reasons to support your view.
We must receive your objection within 60 days of the date you received your vacant residential land tax assessment.
Even if you lodge an objection you must still pay your vacant residential land tax in full by the due date or you may be charged interest. If your objection is successful, any amount overpaid will be refunded with interest.
We advise you in writing of the outcome of your objection.
When are vacant residential land tax assessments issued?
Generally, we send vacant residential land tax assessments to you or your authorised representative early in the year.
If we need to amend your liability, you may receive an assessment at other times of the year.
For example, if we discover an exemption has been incorrectly applied to your property, we may issue a reassessment to recover the tax you should have paid for the years you incorrectly received the exemption. You may also be charged penalty tax.
When do I have to pay my vacant residential land tax?
Your assessment outlines when and how to pay your vacant residential land tax. You can pay your vacant residential land tax in full or by instalments.
Note: If your vacant residential land tax is due for payment, either in full or by instalments, while you are awaiting a decision on a change request, objection or valuation objection, you should pay the amount owing. If you do not pay your assessment by the due date, daily interest may accrue on any outstanding amount.