South Australia set to tax property purchased by foreign owners

Jun 23, 2017

South Australia has joined New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in collecting additional taxes from foreign property owners. From 1 January 2018, a 7 per cent conveyance duty surcharge will apply to South Australian residential property purchases by foreign buyers and temporary residents. There is no additional tax on commercial or industrial property purchases and no additional holding taxes.

Other states which have already introduced a stamp duty surcharge have recently increased the amount of tax and have also introduced annual taxes on foreigners holding property. Below is a summary of the current taxes on residential property for foreign owners:


Stamp Duty Surcharge (On Purchase)

Absentee Land Tax (Annual charge)

South Australia

7% from 1/1/18 (was 0%)


New South Wales

8% from 1/7/17 (was 4%)

2% from 1/1/18 (was 0.75%)





7% from 1/7/18 (was 3%)

1.5% from 1/1/18

Western Australia

7% from 1/1/19 (was 0%)



3% from 1/7/18 (was 0%)


Australian Capital Territory


0.75% from 1/7/18

In addition to the above the Federal Government intends to introduce a vacant property charge for foreign persons who make a foreign investment application for residential property from 9/5/17. A charge of at least $5,000 would apply each year if the property is not occupied or available for rent for at least six months in each year. Further measures against foreign property owners were introduced and can be seen in our previous article: 2017/18 Budget - How does it affect Foreign Property Investors.

Each state has different definitions on who is a foreign person and when the taxes apply so specific advice should be sought if these measures may affect you.