At first blush, payment of stamp duty in Queensland may appear a simple and procedural task for most property purchasers. Stamp duty is simply assessed, the liability amount paid, and the stamping of the Transfers is then attended to.

Did you know – if you are a purchaser entering into severaldutiable transactions (that is, transactions where tax is payable), for example, several related contracts, this may have an adverse reaction to the amount of stamp duty you must pay?
The rules of aggregation are contained in section 30 of the Duties Act 2001 and it is important to consider these rules if several dutiable transactions are being entered in to. Aggregation in this context refers to the stamp duty liability amounts of all transactions forming one single dutiable amount applicable to those transactions. The practical effect of this is that the stamp duty amount payable on a purchase may rise considerably by virtue of a higher stamp duty bracket applying to the new “dutiable value” of the combined properties.

You should consider contacting a solicitor to make enquires as to whether the rules of aggregation apply to you if you are considering buying several properties (or have bought several properties in the past) that may be related by virtue of: –

  • Transfer Document details;
  • Special Conditions contained in the Contracts;
  • The parties of the Contracts;
  • The close time frame between each transaction;
  • The relationship/use/proximity between each property.

If you are considering purchasing several properties, or concerned about the rules of aggregation, I recommend obtaining quality legal advice at the outset. Failure to do so may lead to a nasty audit and you will be liable for any unpaid stamp duty plus unpaid tax interest.

The team at Greenhalgh Pickard are experienced, professional, and happy to discuss your options with you surrounding your property purchase, prior to, during or after a Contract has settled. Please feel free to give me or any of our property law team a call to discuss aggregation and how it may affect you.