How valuations and other changes affect land tax
Your liability for land tax is determined at midnight 30 June (the liability date) each year. Changes to the use of your land or your ownership on or before the liability date may affect your land tax.
Land valuations and revaluation
The Valuer-General in Queensland provides land valuations for Queensland, which are generally issued during March each year.
In some cases, the Valuer-General may, after consideration of a market survey report and results of consultation with local governments and local/industry groups, decide not to make an annual valuation for land in a local government area. For those areas, the existing valuations continue to be used.
Find out more about annual land valuations.
We must use the Valuer-General’s land valuations to calculate the taxable value of the freehold land you own in Queensland. But remember—you will only be liable for land tax if the total taxable value of all your land on 30 June is over the threshold.
The current thresholds are:
- $600,000 or more for individuals and trustees of special disability trusts
- $350,000 or more for companies, trustees and absentees.
If you do not agree with your valuation, you can lodge an objection within 60 days of the date the valuation notice was issued. Only the Valuer-General can answer valuation enquiries and review valuation objections.
Land tax applies to the total taxable value of all your land. For each parcel of land, this is generally the average of your land valuation for the current tax year and previous 2 years.
If a parcel of land was only recently created (e.g. by subdivision or amalgamation), we will use the averaging factor to determine the averaged value.
If you own multiple properties in Queensland, the total taxable value is calculated by combining the taxable value of each property.
Use our estimator to get an idea of how much land tax you may have to pay.
If the Valuer-General revalues your land, you will receive a maintenance valuation notice. This notice will show the date when the new value takes effect. If required, your land tax liability may then be recalculated, and a reassessment notice or refund will follow.
When you receive a land tax reassessment notice from us, check that the new value for your land was used to calculate its taxable value.
In May 2022, Alan submitted an objection to the Valuer-General against the value of one of his parcels of land, which had been valued at $450,000 on 30 June 2021.
The Valuer-General issued a maintenance valuation to Alan confirming its decision to reduce the value of the land to $400,000, effective from 30 June 2021.
Alan had paid land tax on this land. The Valuer-General supplies an update of the change of value and the date of effect to us. Alan’s land tax is reassessed, resulting in a refund for the 2021–22 year.
Buying or selling land
Your assessment accounts for your land tax liability. However, land tax may also become payable when you buy or sell property.
Read the public ruling on contracts for the sale and purchase of land (LTA011.1) to find out more about who is liable for land tax when land is under contract.
You are still required to pay your land tax debt after you sell land. We do not adjust your liability if you own land for part of the year only.
Generally, all mortgages and charges over land must be released when you transfer it. As a first charge over land, land tax must be paid.
The payment of unpaid land tax is a matter between you and the buyer, and is normally paid out of settlement funds.
If the buyer takes possession before settlement, we may still assess you as the owner if this is not disclosed on the Titles Queensland Form 24, or settlement is not finalised within 28 days after 30 June.
If the seller hasn’t paid their land tax liability on land you’re buying, their debt may transfer to you. At the time of sale, an owner may not know that they have a liability for that year.
Apply for a land tax clearance search to make sure the land tax is paid. We will either issue you with a clearance certificate, which confirms that no land tax is owing, or advise you of the amount of unpaid land tax required to get a clearance certificate.
We cannot recover unpaid land tax from a purchaser who has received a clearance certificate.
Shirley purchased her second property in June 2022 and became liable for land tax for the first time on 30 June 2022 (for the 2022–23 year). Generally, land tax notices are not issued until August each year. Shirley may not have known of her liability at the time of purchase because she had not yet received an assessment notice.
In August 2022, Anna signed a contract to buy a home from Shirley.
Anna’s solicitor applied for a clearance certificate to check if there is any land tax owing on the land. A liability advice is issued, stating the amount of land tax owing. Anna’s solicitor pays the liability advice from settlement funds and a clearance certificate is issued.
Because Anna has a clearance certificate for the land, we can’t seek recovery of Shirley’s land tax debt from Anna.
In January 2023, John signed a contract to buy a home from XYZ Pty Ltd. What John doesn’t know is that XYZ has financial difficulties and has not paid its land tax for 3 years.
John decides to save some money and does not apply for a clearance certificate.
After settlement, XYZ is wound up by 1 of its creditors.
Because John did not obtain a clearance certificate, XYZ’s land tax debt can pass to him.
We will seek full payment of the debt from John.
No longer meeting exemption requirements
Generally, an exemption from land tax will continue to apply until any of the following happens:
- you sell the land
- the land description changes (for example, through rezoning or subdivision)
- you stop meeting the exemption requirements.
You must tell us if you stop meeting the exemption requirements that are outlined on the exemption form. Penalties may apply if you don’t tell us within 1 month after the 30 June where you stopped meeting the requirements:
- Land used as your home—you need to occupy the land and no other land continuously as your home for the 6-month period ending 30 June. If you rent out the property, use it for a non-residential purpose or live elsewhere, you may no longer be eligible for the exemption (except for allowable lettings or cases where a transitional home exemption can be claimed).
- Land used for primary production—you must have conducted a business of primary production on the land during the year, including 30 June. You may lose the exemption if
- the nature or size of the business changes
- the business ceases
- you or a beneficiary becomes an absentee (a person who does not usually live in Australia or an external territory).
If your circumstances change, you should tell us in writing as soon as possible. We will determine if the exemption still applies.
We regularly check that owners are still meeting their exemption eligibility requirements.
Change of resident status
If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder and you move to live outside of Australia or an external territory, your land tax liability will change. This is because the land tax rate for individuals and rate for absentees are different.
Find out more about the types of owners for land tax.
Changing your residence status will also affect your eligibility for certain exemptions.
Complete an absentee/resident status declaration (Form LT16) if you move to live overseas or have been out of Australia for most of the year.
Based on your circumstances, we will then tell you if your resident status changes for land tax purposes.
If you don’t tell us, penalties and interest may apply to your land tax.
On 30 June 2022, Samantha owned land in Queensland with a taxable value of $700,000. As an Australian citizen, she was liable for land tax, because the taxable value of her land was more than $600,000.
On 1 July 2022, she moved to England with the intention of staying for a number of years. Because Samantha is an Australian citizen, she will continue to be assessed as an individual, even though she is living and working overseas.
On 30 June 2022, Joe was a foreign individual without a permanent visa living in Australia. He owned land in Queensland with a taxable value of $700,000. Joe was liable for land tax because the taxable value of his land was more than $600,000, and he would be assessed as an individual.
In October 2022, Joe moved to Hong Kong to stay for several years. He knew this would affect his liability for land tax because he is not an Australian citizen. Before he left, he lodged a Form LT16 to tell us about his change of residential status. Joe will be assessed as an absentee from 30 June 2023, unless he returns to live in Australia.
Changes affecting trustees, companies and deceased estates
Changes can occur that will affect how trustees, companies and representatives of deceased people are assessed for land tax.
Land tax assessments are issued to trustees as the legal owner of taxable land. Although a beneficiary is generally not seen as the owner for land tax purposes, a change in beneficiaries or a new power of appointment may affect the trustee’s eligibility for an exemption.
Eligibility for a home or transitional home exemption depends on all beneficiaries of the trust occupying land as their principal place of residence. If a beneficiary no longer meets the residency requirement, or there is a change in either the beneficiaries or their interest in the trust, the exemption may no longer apply to the land.
Read the public ruling about the home exemption for trustees (LTA041.1) for more information.
If circumstances change, you should tell us in writing as soon as possible. Penalties may apply if you do not notify us within 1 month of the 30 June following the change.
Your land tax liability as trustee will be assessed differently if you are trustee for someone who:
- becomes bankrupt under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cwlth)
- is incapacitated, as defined by the Public Trustee Act 1978.
Trustees are liable for land tax if the taxable value of their land is $350,000 or more; in the case of trustees of bankrupt or incapacitated people, the threshold is $600,000. This means that these types of owners may either have a lower amount to pay, or no liability.
Tell us in writing if you become a trustee in these circumstances and are liable for land tax. We will then determine if the higher threshold should apply to your assessment.
Where a beneficiary becomes an absentee or ceases to be a relevant proprietary company, the exemption will no longer apply to land owned on behalf of the trust, even if its use is for primary production.
You should tell us in writing as soon as possible if this happens. Penalties may apply if you do not notify us within 1 month of the 30 June following the change.
A company owns land separate from its shareholders or officers. Regular events can occur during the lifespan of a company that will affect how land tax is assessed.
For example, a company that owns land in Queensland with a taxable value of more than $350,000 could change its structure and name, or transfer assets—including land—to a subsidiary.
Because land tax is assessed on an owner’s land at midnight 30 June each year, any changes to the ownership of the land before this date are unimportant—whoever is the owner on the liability date will be assessed for land tax.
A relevant proprietary company—that is, a company with 50 or fewer shareholders that does not sell shares in it to the public—can claim a primary production exemption on land it owns.
If your company has claimed a primary production exemption, but starts selling shares to the public or becomes foreign-owned, the exemption may no longer apply, even if your land is used for primary production.
Tell us in writing if a change of your company affects your eligibility for the primary production exemption, and we will determine if the exemption should still apply.
If the landowner is deceased, the land may still be exempt. Find out more about deceased estates and land tax.