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Our land tax compliance program focuses on:

  • ensuring exemptions and thresholds are correctly applied,
  • identifying land owners who are not paying land tax or vacant residential land tax.

Helping you get it right

To help you get it right, we provide a range of information and tools, including:

Our Customer Service Charter

Our compliance activities

Our compliance activities include:

  • Using data-matching of rental information to ensure that principal place of residence exemptions are applied correctly and that trust holdings have been declared.
  • Using data to ensure holiday homes are being taxed correctly.
  • Ensuring that primary production exemptions are valid.
  • Ensuring that corporate entities that should be grouped for land tax purposes are grouped.
  • Using ATO, Department of Primary Industries, Residential Tenancies Bond Authority and council data to target areas of non-compliance.
  • Using resources to correctly apply the absentee owner surcharge.
  • Identifying non-reporting of vacant properties, or incorrect exemption claims, for vacant residential land tax.

Common errors to avoid

Principal place of residence exemption

Common errors to avoid in relation to the principal place of residence (PPR) exemption, which is available to people who own and occupy a property as their PPR, include:

  • Having a PPR exemption registered in another Australian state or territory.
  • Not notifying us that the property is leased or is a holiday home.
  • Not notifying us that the property is used for business purposes.
  • Not notifying us about changes of ownership, including family transfers, deceased estates, trusts and superannuation funds.
  • Incorrectly completing the notice of acquisition.
  • Not notifying us, or not providing a forwarding address, when you are living somewhere else in Victoria, interstate or overseas.

Other land tax exemptions

In relation to other land tax exemptions, our investigative focus is on land used for primary production, sporting, recreational or cultural land, rooming houses, residential care facilities, supported residential services, retirement villages, and caravan parks.

Common errors to avoid include:

  • Being unaware that a change in land zoning may affect the exemption.
  • Not fulfilling the business and ownership criteria when land is within the metropolitan boundary and within an urban zone.
  • Being unaware that agistment of animals for non-primary production purposes attracts land tax.
  • Not notifying us when the use of the property has changed.

Corporate land tax and land held on trust

Using a range of data matching activities, including Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) data, we focus on companies found to be related, such as land holding entities with common shareholdings and, by matching ATO trust records with our data, focusing on land held on trust.

Common errors to avoid include:

  • Being unaware that companies may be related for land tax purposes and the situations in which these related companies form a group.
  • Not notifying us when land is being held on trust.
  • Not notifying us that land tax assessments have been incorrectly issued to a company in its own right and not in its capacity as a trustee.

Absentee owner surcharge

An absentee owner surcharge, is an additional amount that applies over the land tax you pay at general and trust surcharge rates. The surcharge applies to Victorian land owned by an absentee owner.

The most common error to avoid is:

  • Not notifying us that you are an absentee owner. You must notify us, using our Absentee Owner Notification Portal, before 15 January if you were an absentee owner as at 31 December of the previous year.

Submit a voluntary disclosure or tip-off

Last modified: 15 December 2023
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