Landowners Tax Changes for 2020

In response to the pandemic, Australian states and territories have announced some land tax concessions that may help landowners relieve some of the financial strain caused by the Coronavirus restrictions.

Each state and territory are offering different relief concessions and eligibility requirements to help property owners deal with challenges caused by the global shutdowns. Here’s how these concessions will affect people who own commercial properties in Queensland:

Firstly, the foreign land tax surcharge for all relevant foreign-owned properties will be waived for the 2019-20 financial year. Also, certain properties will be eligible for a separate 25% land tax rebate.

Secondly, a 3-month deferral of liabilities for land tax will be applied for the 2020-21 financial year.

Queensland has also created an official set of rules and leasing principles for all landlords during this pandemic. It outlines the expected conduct of landlords in circumstances where tenants are affected by the impact of COVID-19 and are therefore unable to pay rent as normal.

Who will be eligible?

No applications are required for landowners to access the foreign surcharge waiver or the 3-month land tax deferral. The land tax for each landowner will automatically be reassessed by the Queensland Office of State Revenue, who will then provide people who have already paid land taxes or the foreign surcharge.

Landowners will need to apply for the 25% land tax rebate via this link. Eligibility for the rebate will only apply to leased properties where tenants are affected by COVID-19 and unable to pay rent. Landowners also must agree to pass this on to tenants in the form of rent relief as per Queensland’s revised leasing principles.

Landowners who require financial assistance because they are unable to find tenants for properties due to COVID-19 will also be eligible, as long as they also agree to comply with the revised leasing principles set out by the state government.

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