Each year, we send more than 300,000 land tax assessment notices to customers. The information here will help you understand why you have received an assessment, possibly for the first time, and what you need to do next.
Your land tax assessment notice should list all the Victorian land you own, including land you own jointly with others, your interest in any trust-held land and any exemptions that apply. It provides a site valuation for each property/land you own, which is used to calculate your land tax liability. You can pay your assessment quarterly or in a lump sum, by credit card or BPAY View.
Please note: we do not adjust land tax assessments for property bought, sold or settled during an assessment year. Your solicitor or conveyancer can advise you about any land tax adjustments made on settlement.
Our role is to ensure all taxpayers pay the correct amount of land tax, so it’s important that you check the accuracy of your assessment and contact us promptly with any errors or omissions.
The following 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.
- Why have I received an assessment for the first time?
- What do I do when I get an assessment?
- What if there are errors in my assessment?
- Are there penalties for failing to notify the SRO of errors or omissions?
- Can I claim an exemption?
- How is land tax calculated?
- What do I do if I disagree with my valuation?
- How do I object to my assessment?
- What about lands acquired on trust?
- When are land tax assessments issued?
- When do I have to pay my land tax?
- Why have I received two or more assessments?
- What if I own land with others?
- What happens with land held on trust?
- What is the absentee owner surcharge?
- What is grouping?
- What is single holding tax?
- What is proportional tax?
- What is special land tax?
- What do the codes mean on my land tax assessment?
You have received an assessment for the first time because our records indicate that the total taxable value of all the Victorian property you owned as at 31 December is equal to or has exceeded the land tax threshold of $250,000 (for trusts, it's $25,000). Land that is exempt, such as your principal place of residence, is not included in the total taxable value of your land.
The total taxable value of your land may have increased to be equal to or to exceed the threshold because:
- 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, or
- The value of your non-exempt land has increased to be equal to or above the land tax threshold.
The value of all the taxable property you own at midnight on 31 December of any given year determines whether you are assessed for land tax for the following year.
Check your assessment to confirm these critical points:
- Your postal and residential address(es) 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 (and not any other property) 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 on trust is not included.
If any of the above details are incorrect or you want to claim an exemption, you must tell us within 60 days of receiving your assessment.
Remember, if you want to, you can appoint an authorised representative to receive all of your land tax assessments and correspondence.
Certain details are easy to change by phone if they are incorrect or if there are omissions in your assessment. You can call us on 13 21 61 if you:
- Want to update any of your contact details,
- As at midnight 31 December of the previous year, you didn't own land that is included on your assessment,
- Want to claim an exemption for land included in your assessment because it is your principal place of residence or primary production land,
- Received more than one individual assessment,
- Have recently constructed a new home on your vacant land
You must notify us of errors or omissions in your assessment so we can amend 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, or
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 home (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.
Your land tax assessment is based on the total taxable value of your land holdings as at midnight on 31 December of the preceding year (for example, in 2018 it would be what you owned as at midnight on 31 December 2017). The taxable value of each property/land you own is usually the site value found on your council rates notice. You should note that apartments have a site value and are therefore included in the total taxable value of your landholdings.
Land tax is calculated by selecting the appropriate land tax rate and applying it to the total taxable value of your land holdings, excluding exempt land such as your home.
Our calculator will help you estimate your land tax liability, if you own property either by yourself or jointly with others.
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 want to object to the valuation in your council rates notice, you need to contact your council directly.
If you have already lodged an objection to the valuation with your council or the SRO within the past 12 months, you cannot lodge another objection to that valuation.
If you have an issue with your assessment which cannot be resolved through an amendment and you think you have been incorrectly assessed, you can formally dispute the matter by lodging an objection.
A more formal process than requesting an amendment, 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.
All trustees acquiring Victorian land must notify us within one month of any acquisition. This is in addition to the general obligation to lodge a notice of acquisition.
Generally we send land tax assessments to you or your authorised representative between late January and late May 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.
Your assessment will outline when you have to pay your land tax. You can pay your land tax in full or in installments.
Note: If your land tax is due for payment in full or by installment while you are awaiting a decision on your matter – whether an amendment request, 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 may receive more than one assessment but you should receive only one individual assessment. This should list all the Victorian land you own individually plus any land you own jointly with others.
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.
You might also receive a separate joint assessment if you own land jointly with others. You will receive this on behalf of the other owners.
If you own land as the trustee of a trust, you may receive a separate trust assessment.
There is no need to call us unless you receive more than one individual assessment.
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.
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 for the benefit of a beneficiary, 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 as 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.
The following is a list of codes, which are used on land tax assessments, with 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
The following is a list of codes, which are used on vacant residential land tax assessments, with their meaning:
- HOL - Property is exempt as a holiday home.
- WRK - Property is exempt as land occupied for purposes of attending place of business or employment.
- RES - Property is exempt as it became residential land during the preceding year.
- TFR - Property is exempt as ownership of the property was transferred to you during the preceding year.