General Taxes in Australia

Find out about some of the taxes paid by Australian residents...

Below is information on the general taxes that must be paid by residents in Australia. It does not cover income tax, for information on income tax, see the Angloinfo INFOrmation page, Personal Taxation in Australia.

Taxes are levied at all levels of government; local, state and federal.

Council/Municipal Taxes (Rates)

Council taxes or rates must be paid on every property in Australia and are used by local councils to cover the cost of refuse collection and amenities provided. The amount of rates payable is dependent on the value of the property and is calculated on its gross rental value.

Rates are usually payable as two annual instalments and can vary according to the size of property and its location. Calculations are not based on the number of persons residing at the property.

On rented properties rates are paid directly by the landlord and are not paid by the tenant.

When purchasing a property, the owner or real estate agent can provided details on the rates that are payable.

Stamp Duty

In addition to rates, property owners are also liable for stamp duty when purchasing a property. Stamp duties vary from state to state and are a percentage of the property purchase value. It is worth checking in advance what stamp duty is payable on a property as it can add up to 5.5 per cent to the purchase price.

There are allowances to help pay towards stamp duty, for example for first time buyers.

Goods and Services Tax

The Value Added Tax (VAT) equivalent in Australia is referred to as the Goods and Services Tax or GST. The current rate of GST is ten per cent and is applied to the supply of most goods and services. There are some exemptions which include basic foodstuffs, medical and educational services and exports.

The revenue collected from GST is distributed to all the states. State governments do not levy any state sales taxes although they do impose stamp duties on a range of transactions.