Foreign buyers duty

Additional duty applies to certain acquisitions by a foreign person.

Foreign buyers duty imposes additional duty of 7% on the dutiable value for certain transactions and landholder acquisitions involving foreign persons or entities acquiring residential property in Western Australia.

  • Use the foreign transfer duty declaration form to declare whether each purchaser or transferee is a foreign person. This form must be completed by each person acquiring an interest in land in Western Australia.
  • Use the foreign landholder duty declaration form to declare whether each person acquiring interest in a landholder is a foreign person. This form must be completed by each person acquiring an interest in a landholder in Western Australia.

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When foreign buyers duty applies

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Every person acquiring land or an interest in a landholder must complete the relevant declaration. 

If you are a foreign person who signed a contract to purchase property before 1 January 2019 but the property settles after that date, you won't be liable for the additional duty if the names of the transferees on the transfer are the same as the names of the purchasers on the agreement or contract.

If you become an Australian citizen before settlement and transfer of the property, apply for a reassessment of duty.

If you are acquiring property with another person and only one of you is a foreign person, foreign buyers duty will only apply to the extent of the purchase by the foreign person. 

For example - You purchase a property for $500,000. The buyer who is foreign is a joint tenant (50% interest in the property).

  • Transfer duty will apply to the total amount ($500,000) and foreign transfer duty will apply to the 50% share that is being purchased by the foreign person ($250,000 - which is 50% of the purchase price or unencumbered value of the property).
  • If you are eligible for the first home owner rate of duty, no transfer duty is payable and $17,500 ($250,000 x 7%) foreign transfer duty is payable.

A duty liability may exist within the Indian Ocean Territories as if they were Western Australia. See details of the arrangement between Western Australia and the Commonwealth.

Exemptions

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Residential developer exemptions

Land acquired by foreign persons for residential developments is chargeable with foreign transfer duty. If the development will produce 10 or more residential dwellings, or lots on which 10 or more dwellings can be constructed, we may reassess and refund the foreign transfer duty paid.

Apply using the foreign transfer duty - developer exemption form or foreign landholder duty - developer exemption form.

Nominal duty or transfer duty exemptions

Most transactions that would be eligible for nominal duty or an exemption from transfer duty will be exempt from foreign transfer duty if the person receiving the residential property is foreign. This includes

  • transfers involving matrimonial or de facto instruments (family court orders)
  • deceased estate transfers
  • partitions or subdivisions of property eligible for nominal duty
  • transfers changing trustees

Related information

Contact

Telephone:
61 8 9262 1100
1300 368 364 (WA country landline callers)
Page reviewed 19 September 2019