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Budget impacts first home owners

Changes have been made to first home owners transfer duty, payroll tax rebates, foreign acquirers’ duty and land tax surcharges as part of the 2024-25 State budget measures.

The Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024, which was assented to yesterday, introduces the following changes:

  • The transfer duty first home concession threshold has been increased from $500,000 to $700,000, phasing out at $800,000, from 9 June 2024;
  • The transfer duty first home vacant land concession thresholds have been increased from $240,000 to $350,000, phasing out at $500,000, from 9 June 2024;
  • The 50 per cent payroll tax rebate has been extended for wages paid or payable to apprentices and trainees to include wages paid or payable during the financial year ending on 30 June 2025;
  • A wage threshold has been introduced for the 1 per cent payroll tax rate discount for regional employers, to exclude extremely large employers from claiming the discount, from 1 July 2024;
  • The duty surcharge applying to foreign people acquiring (directly or indirectly) certain residential land in Queensland is increasing from seven per cent to eight per cent from 1 July 2024. 

The first home concession threshold changes apply to eligible dutiable transactions entered into from 9 June 2024 (inclusive), being the date of announcement of the changes. The Queensland Revenue Office has further information about first home concessions.

If a practitioner’s client has signed a contract on or after 9 June 2024 and settled the purchase before 18 June 2024 (the date of commencement), then transfer duty would have been assessed on the basis of the concession amounts existing at the date of settlement. 

After 18 June 2024, the legislation operates retrospectively and a request for a reassessment and refund can be made.  

The legislation has specifically addressed the potential situation of taxpayers seeking to structure transactions to gain the benefit of these changes by schemes to defer transactions to a date after they take effect.

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The transitional provisions include an anti-avoidance provision to address these schemes, ensuring the changes to the concessions will not apply in these cases.

The legislation has also:

  • Amended the Land Tax Act 2010 to increase the land tax surcharges applying to absentees, foreign companies and trustees of foreign trusts from two per cent to three per cent, from the 2024-25 financial year onwards;
  • Retrospectively amended the First Home Owner Grant and Other Home Owner Grants Act 2000 from 20 November 2023 to increase the amount of the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for eligible transactions entered into between 20 November 2023 and 30 June 2025, both dates inclusive.
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