Transfer duty | Revenue NSW

The NSW state budget includes two changes to transfer duty that will take effect from 1 July 2019. The changes include:

  • annual indexation of transfer duty thresholds, and
  • surcharge duty exemptions for holders of a retirement visa (subclass 405 or 410).

You must pay transfer duty – once known as stamp duty – in NSW when you buy:

  • property, including your home or holiday home
  • an investment property
  • vacant land or a farming property
  • commercial or industrial properties, or
  • a business, which includes land.

You must also pay transfer duty when you acquire land, or an interest in land, without buying it. For example:

  • a declaration of trust
  • a gift, or
  • a transaction effecting a change in the beneficial ownership of a property.

In some circumstances, you may be eligible for a concession or exemption from transfer duty, such as:

  • when you are a beneficiary of a deceased estate, or
  • the transfer is between a married couple or de facto couple.

When to pay transfer duty

You must pay transfer duty within three months of signing a contract for sale or transfer, except in the case of off-the-plan purchases.

If you buy off-the-plan and you intend to live in the property, you may be able to defer your transfer duty liability for up to 12 months.

Calculating transfer duty

Use our online calculator to work out how much transfer duty you’ll need to pay.

Transfer duty calculator

You must pay transfer duty based on the property’s sale price or its current market value, whichever is higher.

We charge a standard transfer duty rate, as well as a premium duty rate, for residential properties worth more than $3 million (or $3.04 million from 1 July 2019).

If the buyer and seller are related or associated, or you’re not transferring the whole property, the property must be valued by a suitably qualified person.

If you are buying a residential property in NSW, use the residential property buyer tool to find out the taxes and duties you may need to pay, as well as exemptions and grants that you are entitled to receive.

Pay your transfer duty

Your solicitor or conveyancer can lodge an application for assessment on a contract for sale or transfer of land on your behalf. They’ll also arrange for duty to be paid. This is typically done as part of the settlement process. They’ll also know if you are entitled to any exemptions or concessions.

If you’re not using a solicitor or conveyancer, you must lodge an application and pay duty yourself.

Business transactions

From 1 July 2016, the NSW government abolished transfer duty on the sale of business assets, including intellectual property, goodwill and statutory licences.

However, you still must pay transfer duty on any land the business holds. Duty will be assessed on the value of the land, including leasehold interests, fixtures and goods.

If you’re transferring or assigning a lease not connected to any business assets, complete the declaration for urgent stamping of transfers and assignment of leases form (PDF, 226.6 KB).

Other transactions

Other transactions that may require transfer duty include:

  • establishing a trust over property in NSW
  • transferring an option to purchase land in NSW
  • foreclosing a mortgage on property in NSW
  • purchasing shares in an unlisted NSW company.

Read more about other occasions when transfer duty may apply.