Queensland Land Tax Surcharge Changes – relief for some taxpayers

We refer to the following changes that were to take effect from 30 June 2019 as highlighted in our Queensland State Budget alert 2019-20.

  • Among other things, a broader land tax foreign surcharge of 2% was introduced to apply to foreign companies and trustees of foreign trusts that own land. The surcharge applies to the portion of the taxable value of the taxable land that is equal to or greater than $350,000 and is not confined to residential land like New South Wales.

After considerable agitation from the property industry, the Queensland Government announced last week in its 2019-20 Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review its intention to broadly follow the Victorian approach regarding exemptions for property developers and taxpayers who contribute to the State economy. As such, we expect such relief to apply to significant land development and/or significant physical operations in Queensland. Passive investment is generally excluded from ex gratia relief.

The Queensland Government announced that it will establish guidelines, in consultation with stakeholders, that provide relief for commercial activities that make a significant contribution to the state economy. Once the guidelines have been made public, we intend on running a session for clients out of our Brisbane office to let them know what it means for them. Please keep an eye out for that in early 2020!