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  • Effective immediately, citizens of New Zealand, Finland, Germany and South Africa are not liable for surcharge purchaser duty and surcharge land tax in NSW.
  • Citizens of those countries who paid surcharge purchaser duty and/or surcharge land tax after 1 July 2021 may be entitled to a refund.
  • Solicitors should be aware of interim processes for assessment of duty while electronic duties return systems are updated in response to this change.

On 21 February 2023, Revenue NSW determined that the levying of surcharge purchaser duty (‘SPD’) and surcharge land tax (‘SLT’) is inconsistent with international tax treaties entered into by the Federal Government with New Zealand, Finland, Germany and South Africa (‘Exempt Countries’).

As a result, individuals who are citizens of the Exempt Countries may immediately be entitled to a refund of any SPD and/or SLT paid on or after 1 July 2021. The Australian residency status of those citizens is not relevant.

Non-individuals who are foreign persons, solely by reason of a substantial interest (or an aggregate substantial interest) being held by a citizen of the Exempt Countries, may also be entitled to a refund.

The Victorian State Revenue Office has recently announced that whilst it is aware of the Revenue NSW determination, the position in Victoria has not changed and the Victorian provisions will continue to apply to purchasers from Exempt Countries.

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