Transfer duty assessment

Calculate transfer duty by determining the dutiable value and applying the appropriate rate of duty.

The dutiable value of a transaction is generally the consideration for the transaction or the unencumbered value of the property if

  • there is no consideration for the transaction or
  • the consideration cannot be ascertained or
  • the unencumbered value is greater than the consideration.

If GST is payable on a transaction, the dutiable value will include the amount of GST.

Duty won't be charged twice on two transactions relating to the same matter. If duty is chargeable on a transaction such as a contract for sale of land, the subsequent transfer of land or declaration of trust will be considered for no double duty if it's in conformity with the initial transaction. This also applies to the transfer of certain WA business assets.

Rates of duty

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Use our online calculator to estimate how much duty you may need to pay.

If your transaction is assessed at a rate that's different to the rate you believe it should be assessed, you can apply for a reassessment. Certain time frames apply to applications for reassessment.

General rate

This generally applies to commercial property, rural property that is not also used as residential property, and vacant land which doesn't qualify for the residential rate.

The general rate will apply to residential property if you don't apply for a different rate of duty.

Residential rate

This applies to places of residence, rental homes and land on which a residence is constructed within five years from the date the liability to duty arose. The residential rate also applies to mixed use property.

See whether the residential rate applies to you.  Apply for the residential rate of duty.

Concessional rate

This applies to property that is either a principal place of residence or a WA business asset, and the value of the entire property doesn't exceed $200,000. See the following fact sheets

Apply for the concessional rate of duty.

First home owner rate

You may be eligible for the first home owner rate of duty if you

  • qualify for a first home owner grant or
  • would have qualified for the grant if consideration had been paid or if the grant was available for established homes or
  • are a resident of the Indian Ocean Territory acquiring your first home.

Apply for pre-approval for the first home owner rate of duty.

Apply for an assessment or reassessment at the first home owner rate.

In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for the first home owner rate even if you are not eligible for the first home owner grant or if you have purchased property with others who are not eligible for the grant.

If you aren't eligible for the first home owner rate because the value of the home or vacant land exceeds the specified thresholds, you should apply for the residential rate

Consideration

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The consideration is something of value given for a promise. For example, consideration may be the amount payable under a contract for the purchase of a home. The consideration for a transaction can be monetary or non-monetary, for example, the assumption of liabilities, forgiveness of a debt or shares issued.

Contingent consideration

Contingent consideration is an amount that will only become payable on the occurrence of a future event that may or may not happen.

An agreement to transfer property that contains a contingent consideration will initially be assessed on a dutiable value that includes the contingent consideration. Apply for a reassessment if duty has been paid on contingent consideration and

  • the contingent consideration has not been paid
  • the event has not happened, or has not happened within the time specified in the agreement and
  • the event cannot happen in the future, or the time specified in the agreement for the happening of the event has passed or expired.

Reduction in consideration

If the consideration is reduced after the agreement is entered into but before the property is transferred, the duty on the agreement will be assessed or reassessed on the reduced consideration if it is not less than the value of the property at the date the consideration was reduced.

Unless certain criteria are met, we will obtain a valuation of the property as at the date the consideration was reduced.

Duty may also be reduced if you acquire a further interest in a shared equity home.

Increase in consideration

If the consideration under an agreement for the transfer of property is increased before the property is transferred, the duty on the agreement will be assessed or reassessed on the increased consideration.

If the consideration is increased after the transaction is duty endorsed, the person liable to pay duty must lodge the instrument that effects the increase for reassessment within two months after the day on which the consideration is increased.

Valuations

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In some circumstances, a valuation is required for certain types of transactions.

  • If a dutiable transaction is between related parties, or the parties are not otherwise dealing at arms length, the dutiable property must be independently valued before an assessment is issued.
  • If required, the Valuer-General can make a valuation of residential, commercial or farming land. Complete and lodge a valuation form with your transaction record. Alternatively, a copy of a valuation from a licensed valuer may be accepted. This may be referred to Landgate for valuation.
  • The grant or surrender of a life or remainder interest must be valued before an assessment can be issued.

See more information about valuing land and valuing WA business assets for duties purposes.

We may request that you provide a written valuation. If you don't provide one, we may apply penalty tax and recover from you the costs of obtaining our own valuation.

Use a valuation form for the following transaction types

 

Aggregation

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Transactions that relate to separate items of property are to be treated as a single transaction if they together form, evidence, give effect to or arise from what is substantially one arrangement.

Duty is chargeable on the total of the dutiable values of each of the transactions and is determined at the time liability to duty arose on each transaction.

All instruments and transfer duty statements in the series of transactions should be lodged together, or if lodged separately, provide sufficient details so the bundles can be cross-referenced to each other.

Substituted transferees

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When the person on the agreement is different to the person on the transfer, details of the purchaser(s) of the dutiable property must be provided in full and must include whether the property is to be held as joint tenants or tenants in common. If information is not clearly included about the type of tenancy or the percentage of each party’s ownership, we will presume the ownership is tenants in common in equal shares.

You may need to pay additional duty if

  • a transfer (the transfer of land) is not in accordance with the agreement for the transfer (e.g. different purchaser, different percentage of ownership) or
  • it is not clearly identified that a purchaser is acting as a trustee for a trust or
  • an agency relationship is disclosed in the agreement and the principal and agent are not clearly identified.

Duty may not be chargeable on a transfer where the person named as the transferee differs from the person named in the agreement as the purchaser. Apply using the substituted transferees form with the transaction documents (such as the offer and acceptance or transfer of land form) for the transfer of land to be endorsed no double duty.

If you disagree with an assessment

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Lodging an objection does not remove or defer your liability. We may apply penalty tax if you don't pay your assessment by the due date.

Before lodging an objection, contact the assessor directly or contact us online as it may be possible to resolve your enquiry without the need for an objection.

If you believe that your assessment is incorrect, you can lodge an objection against the assessment.

Page reviewed 23 October 2019