First home buyers finance in Perth and WA can be a bit confusing with stamp duty being one of the most confusing of them all.
The Loan Monster team is always available to help talk you through your particular questions or understand the process of obtaining a home loan for your intended new property. But if you’d just like some general information about what stamp duty is and why it’s an important consideration of the home buying process, this article is for you.
Understanding Stamp Duty
In Western Australia, all property is subject to transfer duty, a form of tax. Whenever the property transfers from a seller to a buyer it may be subject to transfer duty.
There are different duty rates for different property values as well as a list of circumstances or individuals where transfer duty is either exempted or lowered.
Penalties for not correctly paying transfer duty or incorrectly filling out the correct forms may apply.
Stamp duty is a type of transfer duty and is therefore essentially just a tax. In Western Australia, the terms are used interchangeably whilst in other states and territories the term “stamp duty” is used more exclusively.
Stamp duty in WA needs to be paid when a property or piece of land is transferred from one owner to another, in the instance of a buying a home, when the seller transfers the house to the buyer’s ownership.
It must be paid by the buyer and is calculated on the ‘dutiable value’ of the property and using the applicable stamp duty rate. We’ll outline some of the exceptions and rules below, but the application of and amount of stamp duty owed is dependent on the value of the property being transferred.
This transfer duty is owed within two months of the settlement date of a property.
Why is it called stamp duty?
The name calls back to the original method of payment where a physical stamp was used and affixed to the document to show that the tax had been paid.
Nowadays, with our more sophisticated and digital technology we no longer indicate payment by using physical stamps. Nevertheless, the name has stuck. Though, as mentioned above, in WA transfer duty is sometimes used interchangeably with stamp duty.
The Effects of Stamp Duty
The reason why stamp duty is such an important consideration for you as the buyer of the property is that it actually increases the amount of money that you need to pay to purchase a piece of land or house. That in turn will affect the amount of money you need to apply for in your loan or mortgage application.
Exemptions and Concessions to Stamp Duty
There are some instances where stamp duty either does not apply or does not apply at its usual rate. Some first-home buyers (the threshold has actually recently been lifted), seniors and purchasers of particular types of residential property may be eligible for exemption or concession.
If you’re purchasing home and land that does not exceed $430,000 in value you do not need to pay stamp duty.
Properties that exceed $430,000 but are less than $530,000 are subject to a transfer duty set at the rate of $19.19 for every $100.00 above $430,000.
For example, if your home and land costs $500,000, you will need to pay $13,433 in transfer duty. I.e., ( ( $500,000 – $430,000 ) / $100 ) * 19.19 ) = 13,433.
Some people may not realise that even foreign buyers may still be eligible for the first homeowner rate of stamp duty, though there might be an additional foreign transfer duty as well.
Need clarification or help? Loan Monster is here!
The Loan Monster team has been helping first home buyers and seasoned investors to access the best home loans Perth wide and beyond for years! We’re specialists in all things first home buyers finance but are more than happy to help you with whatever you need.
If you’d like to explore your options or just want more information regarding the what, when, why and how of all things stamp duty, contact us today.