Land tax is the first charge on the title to the land to which it relates. It must be paid before ownership can change.
A property clearance certificate (previously known as a land tax clearance certificate) confirms how much land tax is due and unpaid on the land. If you are buying or selling or are the mortgagee of a property, you can apply for a property clearance certificate to see whether any land tax is owing on the land.
The certificate details the amount of land tax owing for the year in which the application is made and will also include outstanding liabilities from prior years. Buyers should resolve the issue of any land tax owing on the property with the seller before settlement. This is not a matter for the State Revenue Office. Once you buy a property, we seek payment from you of any land tax owing on that property.
All certificates are issued subject to a number of notes which should be read carefully.
Vacant residential land tax
From 1 January 2018, a vacant residential land tax applies to homes in 16 inner and middle council areas in Melbourne that were vacant for more than six months in the preceding calendar year. Property clearance certificates have been updated to incorporate outstanding vacant residential land tax liabilities from 2018. The updated certificates will also include the property's capital improved value for the current year.
Apply for a certificate
There is an application fee of $17.40 for each certificate from 1 July 2021 until 30 June 2022.
Applying online is fast, efficient and user-friendly, with secure online payment by Visa or MasterCard.
Certificates are generally issued quickly, although some may take up to 10 working days. Once processed, the certificate is emailed to you.
If you frequently apply for property clearance certificates, you can become a registered user. This enables you to quickly and easily manage multiple certificate applications and update requests, with secure encrypted payment available by Visa, MasterCard or monthly direct debit.
Update your certificate
If you are the vendor, purchaser or mortgagee and already have a clearance certificate for a property you may be able to apply for a free update. This shows any changes since the original certificate was issued.
You can only get a free certificate update if there is no change in the parties involved in the transaction and your request is made within 90 days of the original certificate being issued. If, however, your settlement has been delayed, you can obtain an update by calling us on 13 21 61.
You can only apply for an update online if you have a copy of the original certificate as you need the certificate ID and issue date.
Registered users can simply log in to our clearance certificate portal to apply for a certificate update. After the 90-day period, you need to apply for a new property clearance certificate.