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Land tax is applicable to all land holdings in Australia except for land which satisfies the requirements of any of the following exemptions:

  • The principal place of residence exemption (this exemption is for the family home);
  • The primary production exemption (available for farm land); or
  • The exemptions available for charities and religious organisations.

In deciding what type of entity should hold the family home or the family farm, individuals must balance asset protection concerns against the need to comply with the particular conditions of the particular land tax exemption they wish to qualify for. For instance a family home owned by a company which is the trustee of a family trust will not generally be entitled to claim the principal place of residence exemption and will be liable to pay land tax on such a land holding.

Our firm is able to provide advice on how individuals, businesses and organisations can structure their land holdings to take advantage of the land tax exemptions. Our firm is also able to provide advice on how land tax is imposed on where different entities such as companies and discretionary trusts own land.

Besides providing this advice our office also makes representations on behalf of our clients to the Office of State Revenue. This includes:

  • Assisting clients in dealing with land tax audits and requests from the Office of State Revenue for information on land holdings of clients; and
  • Representing clients in land tax disputes with the Office of State Revenue (this includes engaging in informal review procedures within the Office of State Revenue, litigating such disputes through the courts and tribunals, and negotiating settlements of such disputes).