Stamp duty

Story by domain.com.au

Nobody in their right mind wants to pay more in taxes than they absolutely must.

One of the biggest benefits for buying off-the-plan is the substantially lower stamp duty costs compared with existing properties.

An owner-occupier who buys an already built unit for $400,000 will pay about $16,370 in stamp duty. In contrast, an OTP apartment bought for the same price could attract a stamp duty of just $950, which is charged only on the estimated value of the land.

The concession is the highest for those who purchase before construction on the building actually begins. But the amount of duty owed increases in line with the level of completion of the building, which means that the longer you wait, the more you pay. When the building is completed, any purchase would attract the full stamp-duty amount.

It's also important to remember that investors pay a higher stamp duty rate than owner-occupiers.

However, investors are also eligible for substantial tax depreciation benefits on the apartment's fixtures and fittings, which can help offset some of the costs incurred in the purchase. Calculating a depreciation schedule is complex, so consult a qualified accountant.