Between January and April 2019, we will send close to 500,000 land tax assessment notices to customers.
The information on this page will help you understand your land tax assessment. It will also explain what you need to do. If you have received an assessment for the first time, you can learn more here.
Your assessment notice should list:
- All the Victorian land you own, including land you own jointly with others.
- Your interest in any land held in a trust.
- Any exemptions that apply.
- A site valuation for each piece of land you own, which is used to calculate the land tax you pay.
It’s important that you check the accuracy of your assessment and contact us promptly if you see any errors or omissions.
Note: We do not adjust land tax for property bought, sold or settled during an assessment year. The owner of a property as at 31 December is responsible for paying the land tax assessment for the following year. Your solicitor or conveyancer can advise you about any land tax adjustments that need to be made on settlement.
Vacant residential land tax is different to land tax. If you have also received a vacant residential land tax assessment, you also need to understand it and make sure it is correct.
Frequently asked questions about land tax
The answers to these frequently asked questions are designed to help you understand your land tax assessment, and what you need to do if your assessment is incorrect or you disagree with it.
If you have received a land tax assessment for the first time, read more about why.
Land tax and how it is calculated
Land tax increases
- What is the assessment period?
- When are assessments issued?
- What do I do when I get an assessment?
- I have not received a land tax assessment before, so why have I got one now?
- Why do I have two assessments for the same property?
- What do I do if my assessment is incorrect?
- What happens if I don’t tell you that my assessment is incorrect?
Paying land tax
- When do I have to pay my land tax?
- How can I pay my land tax?
- How do I set up an AutoPay Instalment schedule?
Authorising someone to act on your behalf
Disagreeing with your assessment
Owning land with others and on trust
- What if I own land with others?
- I own land with my partner. Will we pay land tax?
- What happens with land held on trust?
It is an annual tax based on the total taxable value of all the land you own in Victoria, excluding exempt land such as your home (principal place of residence), as at midnight on 31 December in the year preceding the assessment year.
When the total taxable value of this land is equal to or above the $250,000 threshold ($25,000 for trusts) you must pay land tax.
Land tax and vacant residential land tax are different. You may receive an assessment for both.
It is calculated by applying the appropriate land tax rate to the total taxable value, or site value, of your land holdings. This taxable value does not include exempt land such as your home.
We do not prepare site valuations as these are prepared as part of the general valuation process, which is also used by local councils to calculate rates.
If your assessment has increased, it is because the total taxable value of your land has increased so that it is equal to or exceeds the $250,000 threshold ($25,000 for trusts). The reasons for this could be:
- You have purchased non-exempt land in the past calendar year, such as an investment property or holiday home.
- An exemption has been removed. For example, you may have started renting out what used to be your principal place of residence.
- The value of your non-exempt land has increased to be equal to or above the threshold.
Land tax is assessed on a calendar year basis on the land you own at midnight on 31 December before your assessment is issued. For example, the land you own at midnight on 31 December 2018 is used to calculate land tax in 2019.
Generally we send land tax assessments to you or your authorised representative between late January and April each year.
We are committed to ensuring that all taxpayers pay the correct amount of land tax, so you may receive an assessment (including assessments for previous land tax years) at other times of the year.
For example, if we discover a principal place of residence exemption has been incorrectly applied to your land, we may issue reassessments to recover the land tax you should have paid for the years you incorrectly received the exemption. You may also be charged penalty tax.
Check your assessment to confirm these critical points:
- Your postal and residential addresses are correct.
- All land that you own, including any land that you own with others, is included in your assessment.
- The land shown in your assessment was owned by you as at midnight on 31 December of the previous year.
- If you own the property you live in, it is marked as your principal place of residence on the Statement of Lands page.
- Any land you own that is eligible for an exemption from land tax is marked exempt.
- No land is incorrectly marked as exempt.
- Land you hold as trustee of a trust is not included.
If any of these details are incorrect on your assessment or you want to claim an exemption, you must tell us within 60 days of receiving your assessment.
It is because the total taxable value of the land you own, excluding exempt land such as your home, has increased so that it is equal to or exceeds the $250,000 threshold ($25,000 for trusts). There may be a number of reasons for this, including:
- The value of your non-exempt land has increased.
- The value of your land has changed.
- You have acquired non-exempt land, such as a holiday home or investment property.
- A previous exemption, such as the principal place of residence exemption, has ceased or was incorrectly applied, for example by your conveyancer.
It depends on how you own land and who you own it with. There are three types of assessments:
- Individual assessments – you should only receive one individual assessment.
- Joint assessments – if you own land jointly with others you may also receive a separate joint assessment. Each unique combination of owners is considered a different joint ownership, so you may receive more than one joint assessment if you are a member of a number of unique joint ownerships. The person receiving the joint assessment is receiving it on behalf of the other joint owners.
- Trust assessments – if you own land as the trustee of a trust, you may receive a separate trust assessment for each trust for which you are trustee.
Remember, you may receive more than one assessment but you should receive only one individual assessment. If you receive more than one individual assessment, you must call us on 13 21 61 so that we can correctly record the land(s) you own.
The following is a list of codes used on land tax assessments and their meaning:
- PC - Property is in a parcel and is not the lead property
- CP - Caravan park exemption
- CHR - Charitable exemption
- DPR - Dual principal place of residence exemption
- Ret - Retirement village
- SH - Single holding
- RS - Residential service exemption
- PPL - Primary production land exemption
- Mine - Mine exemption
- RES - Residential care
- SPO - Outdoor club exemption
- PPR BEN - Principal place of residence with beneficial interest
- DIV 4 - Divisional 4 exemption
- STAT - Statutory authority exemption
- Mun - Municipality exemption
- ARM - Armed services personnel exemption
- LCA - Low cost accommodation
- PPR - Principal place of residence exemption
- FRS - Friendly society exemption
- P (placed in front of the unimproved value) - Pro rata site valuation
- Sec 9 - Any other exemption
- CON - Construction for exempt uses
- CROWN - Crown land
- TS - Trust surcharge
It depends what is wrong. For common updates and changes to your assessment, you can call us on 13 21 61 or submit your request via our online SmartForm.
You must do this within 60 days from your assessment’s date of issue or penalties may apply.
Examples of common land tax changes are:
- Removing land you no longer own.
- Adding land you own that is not included on your assessment.
- Applying for a principal place of residence or primary production land exemption on land not marked as exempt.
- Removing an exemption to which you are not entitled.
- Updating your contact details.
For all other matters, you need to write to us explaining your issue and once we have reviewed your request, we will respond to you in writing. We may also contact you for more information.
Read our detailed instructions on requesting all types of changes.
If you disagree with a site value in your assessment you cannot request a change, you have to formally object to it.
You must notify us of errors or omissions in your assessment so we can update it and ensure you pay the right amount of tax at the right time. You must notify us if you:
- Own additional land which has not been included in your assessment.
- Receive separate assessments for lands you own alone.
- Are receiving a principal place of residence exemption for land that is not, or is no longer, your principal place of residence (your home).
- Have received any other exemption for which you are not eligible.
- The land is held on trust.
- You are an absentee owner and your assessment has not included the absentee owner surcharge.
You must contact us within 60 days of receiving your assessment, or else penalty tax may apply.
Your assessment will outline when you have to pay your land tax.
Note: If your land tax is due for payment in full or by installment while you are awaiting a decision on your matter – whether a request for a change, objection or valuation objection – you should pay that amount as per your assessment. If you do not pay your assessment by the due date, interest may accrue daily on any outstanding amount.
You can pay your land tax in a lump sum or you set your own payment frequency using AutoPay Instalments. This enables you to set up automated payments using Visa, Mastercard or direct debit.
You can set up your automated instalment payments online.
Your land tax assessment shows the site value of the land(s) you own. The site valuation, which is usually conducted by your local council, is used to calculate land tax. If you disagree with the site valuation of your land, you can object to it but there are different ways of doing this.
If you disagree with the site valuation(s) used in your assessment you can object to by completing and lodging a Land Valuation Objection Form. A valuation objection must be lodged with us within two months of receiving your assessment.
If you have an issue with your assessment which cannot be resolved through requesting a change and you think you have been incorrectly assessed, you can formally dispute the matter by lodging an objection.
A more formal process than requesting a change, you must complete and lodge an objection and provide detailed reasons to support your view.
We must receive your objection within 60 days of the date you received your land tax assessment.
Even if you have lodged an objection you must still pay your 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 will advise you in writing of the outcome of your objection.
If you own land with others, in whatever ownership structure, you are a joint owner of land.
You may own land with different people. Each unique combination of owners is considered a different joint ownership. Joint owners are assessed for land tax in a different way.
If you own land with your partner, you are considered joint owners.
We assess joint owners for land tax together, as if they were one person, and we also assess each owner individually.
Whether you pay land tax as joint owners, individually, or both, depends on the land you own together and individually, the value of that land and how the land is used
Land held on trust is treated differently from land held by a person in their own right.
If you own land as trustee of a trust, you have to pay land tax if the aggregate of the taxable Victorian land holdings of the trust is valued at $25,000 or more.
Also, a surcharge rate on the general land tax applies for the aggregate Victorian land holdings of the trust from $25,000 through to less than $3 million. The surcharge does not apply for taxable land holdings valued at $3 million or more.
The trust surcharge rule is subject to various exclusions and exceptions. It does not apply to certain trusts, such as an administration trust. Trustees may also avoid the surcharge rate by notifying us of the beneficial interests in land or unit holders of the trust.
From 1 January 2017, a 1.5 per cent absentee owner surcharge (previously 0.5 per cent) on land tax applies to Victorian land owned by an absentee owner. The absentee owner surcharge is an additional amount payable over the general and trust surcharge rates of land tax.
You must tell us if you are an absentee owner, otherwise penalties may apply.
Corporations are related in certain circumstances. Where two or more corporations are related, the Commissioner may treat them as a group for land tax purposes.
The taxable value of all Victorian lands owned by a group is aggregated to calculate the land tax payable on those lands. Members of a group are jointly and severally liable for the land tax payable by the group.
Land held by a trustee of a trust is not grouped for land tax purposes, but you are required to notify us that the land is held on trust.
Single holding tax is the amount of tax you would pay on one property if it was the only property you owned.
For example, if you own three taxable properties, then three separate single holding tax amounts will be shown on your assessment.
Single holding tax is shown against each taxable property on the Statement of Lands page of your assessment. Your principal place of residence and any other exempt land is not included in this calculation.
Proportional tax is the tax applicable to a particular land as a proportion of the total land tax liability of your assessment.
For example, if you own four taxable properties, four separate proportional tax amounts will be shown on your assessment. Proportional tax is shown against each taxable property on the Statement of Lands page of your assessment. Your principal place of residence and any other exempt land is not included in this calculation.
Special land tax is a one-off tax charged in certain circumstances where land that was exempt loses its exempt status. It is charged at a rate of five cents for each dollar of the taxable value of the land at the date that the land ceased to be exempt.
If you are an absentee owner, you will be charged a rate of 6.5 cents for each dollar of the taxable value of the land.
Notices of assessment for special land tax are issued on a case by case basis, and can be issued at any time.
Your home, also called your principal place of residence, is exempt from land tax, as is primary production land and land used by charities. Exempt land does not include investment properties or holiday homes you own, even if they are vacant.
If you move overseas to live or work for an extended period, this may also affect your principal place of residence exemption status.