Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Stamp Duty Exemptions Across Australian States

Buying a home in Australia is a significant financial commitment, and one of the expenses often overlooked by first-time homebuyers is stamp duty. This state-based tax can be quite substantial, depending on the property’s value and the state in which it is located.

The good news? There are stamp duty exemptions and concessions available that can make this financial burden more manageable, especially with the help of a mortgage broker or financial advisor. This comprehensive guide offers an in-depth look at stamp duty exemptions across Australia’s states and territories.

The aim of these stamp duty exemption or concessions are to assist first home buyers or low income home buyers into home ownership faster.

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What is Stamp Duty/Transfer Duty?

Stamp duty, also known as transfer duty, is a tax levied by state governments on transactions such as property sales, mortgages, and even some insurances.

While the exact rate varies between states, dutiable value is usually calculated as a percentage of the property’s value or sale price, or otherwise the contract price. Understanding stamp duty exemptions is crucial for any homebuyer, as these can lead to significant savings.

Why Stamp Duty/Transfer Duty Exemptions Matter

When you pay stamp duty, it can add thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to your home-buying expenses. Exemptions and concessions can ease this financial burden, especially for first-time buyers, pensioners, or those buying off-the-plan properties.

New South Wales (NSW)


New South Wales offers a range of stamp duty exemptions under the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme. First-time homebuyers can either completely avoid having to pay stamp duty or get substantial reductions.

The First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme also applies to vacant land, with full exemptions for land valued up to $400,000 and concessions for land valued between $400,001 and $500,000.

The stamp duty concessions are the largest in NSW due to the average price of property being the highest in NSW.

Eligibility Criteria for stamp duty concessions

      • Must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident

      • Must be 18 years old or older

      • You have to reside in the property for at least six months within a year of buying it

    How to Apply for Stamp Duty Exemption

    To apply, you need to fill out the ‘First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme Application Form’ and submit it to Revenue NSW. You can find detailed application guidelines on their website.

    In NSW, properties valued at up to $800,000 are eligible for a full stamp duty exemption meaning you don’t have to pay stamp duty. Partial exemptions are also available on a sliding scale for properties valued between $800,001 and $1 million.

    Australian Capital Territory (ACT)


    The ACT offers the Home Buyer Concession Scheme, which is aimed at reducing stamp duty costs for eligible buyers, including first-timers and those with low to moderate income.

    Eligibility Criteria for Home Buyers

        • You must not have owned property in the last two years

        • The property must serve as your primary residence

        • There are income and property value thresholds to meet

      How to Apply

      Applications are usually submitted to the ACT Revenue Office. The application form and detailed guidelines on how to apply can be found on their website.

      The concession is means-tested, meaning your income, the property value, and the number of dependent children you have will influence the level of stamp duty concession you can receive.



      Victoria offers a full stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers purchasing homes valued at less than $600,000 and concessions for homes valued between $600,001 and $750,000.

      The First Home Owner Grant may be used to purchase vacant land as long as the land is intended to be the site of the first-time buyer’s principal residence.

      Eligibility Criteria for stamp duty concessions

          • Australian citizen or permanent resident

          • The property must be your primary residence

          • You’ve never owned residential property in Australia

        How to Apply

        The application forms for stamp duty exemptions in Victoria can be found on the State Revenue Office website. Upon filling out the required forms, you can submit them online or by post.

        There is a scaled concession for properties valued between $600,001 and $750,000. The exact concession varies, so consulting the State Revenue Office is advised for specifics.



        In Queensland, the First Home Buyer Duty Concession covers homes up to $500,000, offering a full stamp duty exemption for those properties.

        Eligibility Criteria

            • Australian citizen or permanent resident

            • You must live in the home as your principal place of residence for a year

          How to Apply for stamp duty concessions

          Applications can be submitted to the Office of State Revenue in Queensland. Required documents usually include identification and proof of residence.

          While full exemption applies to properties under $500,000, reduced rates apply to properties valued between $500,001 and $549,999.

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          South Australia


          South Australia mainly offers stamp duty concessions for off-the-plan apartments, aiming to encourage property development in certain zones.

          Eligibility Criteria

              • The property must be an off-the-plan apartment

              • You need to reside in the property for a minimum of six months

            How to Apply for Stamp duty/Transfer Duty Concessions

            Submit the required application form and supporting documents to RevenueSA. The forms are usually downloadable from their website.

            Stamp duty concessions in South Australia are generally limited to specific zones, encouraging urban development in these areas.

            Western Australia


            Western Australia provides full stamp duty exemptions for properties valued up to $430,000 and a concessional rate for properties valued up to $530,000.

            Eligibility Criteria

                • Australian citizenship or permanent residency

                • Move into the property within 12 months of settlement

              How to Apply for Stamp duty/Transfer Duty Exemption

              To apply, visit the Office of State Revenue in Western Australia and complete their application process, usually available online.

              The concessional rate is applied on a sliding scale for homes with a market value between $431,000 and $530,000.



              Tasmania does not offer stamp duty exemptions but provides a First Home Owner Grant of $20,000 for building new homes.

              Eligibility Criteria

                  • Must be your primary residence

                  • The home must be a new build

                How to Apply

                You can apply by submitting the necessary forms and info such as the contract price and settlement date to the State Revenue Office of Tasmania.

                The grant is not directly related to stamp duty but can be used to offset stamp duty costs.

                Northern Territory


                The Northern Territory offers a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for those who are buying or building a new home.

                Eligibility Criteria

                    • Must be a new home or a substantially renovated property

                    • You’ve never received a First Home Owner Grant in any state or territory

                  How to Apply

                  Application forms can be submitted to the Northern Territory Revenue Office.

                  This grant is primarily aimed at encouraging new property investments.

                  What If You Don’t Qualify?

                  If you don’t meet the criteria for any stamp duty exemptions or concessions, you’ll have to factor in the cost of paying stamp duty into your budget. However, keep in mind that there are other ways to ease the financial burden of buying a home.

                  Some buyers choose to include the cost of the stamp duty in their mortgage, effectively financing this cost over the life of the loan.

                  Professional Assistance

                  Consulting professionals like mortgage brokers or financial advisors can help you navigate the labyrinth of stamp duty exemptions and concessions. They can offer expert insights tailored to your financial situation, ensuring you don’t miss out on any benefits you’re entitled to.


                  Navigating the complex world of stamp duty can be a daunting experience, but knowing your exemption options in your respective state can result in significant savings.

                  Being well-informed can help you better plan your finances and perhaps allow you to invest in a property you thought was beyond your reach. Consult with a financial advisor for tailored advice to your individual needs.

                  mansour soltani

                  MANSOUR SOLTANI

                  Mansour has spent more than two decades involved in the purchase and sale of real estate, acquiring both investment and commercial properties throughout Australia, including in major cities and smaller regional locations.

                  He is the proprietor of a finance brokerage firm, overseeing a portfolio worth in excess of 75 million in loans and serving a diverse clientele across Australia and a regular contributor to This has equipped him with extensive knowledge in various investment tactics, allowing him to offer significant insight.

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