Stamp duty explained for a first-time buyer

Stamp duty, like income tax, is something that evolved over the centuries and it is at present, a levy on property purchases. Rumoured to have begun in Europe in the early 17th century, stamp duty is actually a tax levied on many types of documents, of which land title deeds are just one.  

The Australian federal government does not levy stamp duty, yet every state does, and this levy can vary from state to state.


This is perhaps the most sought-after region in the country and if you are thinking about relocating to the sunshine state, there’s a QLD stamp duty calculator, which will help you to calculate your costs.

Queensland offers stamp duty concessions for some people, such as those who are making their first house or land purchase. The best way to find out whether or not you qualify for a stamp duty concession is to contact a local conveyancing law firm.


Documents for the transfer of land ownership must be stamped by the local authority before they will be accepted at the Land Title Office. So, there is no way of avoiding stamp duty, or transfer duty, as it is sometimes referred to, unless you qualify for a stamp duty concession.

This stamping can be carried out by an approved assessor, such as an established conveyancing law firm, and this involves the buyer agreeing to certain conditions, such as when the property will become occupied and its intended use.


As a general rule, the higher the price of the property, the more the stamp duty. There are stamp duty concessions for certain buyers, such as first-time house purchasers. By talking to an established conveyancing lawyer, you will soon discover whether or not you qualify for a concession.

One might think that if a property is left to you in a will, that there would be no stamp duty to pay, as no money has changed hands, yet in such a case, a stamp duty calculation would be made based on a market price evaluation.


Most conveyancing law firms will not only give you a fixed rate for handling the purchase, that also includes stamp duty assessment, which means there are no added legal costs when calculating the amount of stamp duty.

If you are looking to acquire property in Queensland, you are strongly advised to seek out the help of a local conveyancing law firm, who can take care of the legalities, which includes the stamp duty process.


If you want to know exactly the reasons why this tax is levied, it is designed to cover local government expenses when administering the change of ownership of a plot of land.

The process involves carrying out searches and ascertaining the title ownership of the said property, which obviously incurs costs.

There are online conveyancing specialists who can handle every aspect of a house or land purchase and they can easily be located with an online search. Once you have made contact, your conveyancing lawyer can calculate the amount of stamp duty on the property you wish to buy.

You can read more about this subject in our previous blog post: Buying a New Home? Is Now The Right Time?

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