Other state and local taxes
State government websites
Other State & Local Taxes
In addition to the taxes already discussed in this guide, the state governments and local councils also impose a variety of taxes and duties that may affect churches. For the most part, there are exemptions that apply to religious organisations. However it is important to note that the exemptions may not cover all aspects of the church’s activities, especially if these activities are commercially motivated. In some instances, you need to actually apply for the exemption. It is not a self-assessment process. Below is a summary of these taxes.
Stamp duty is a state tax imposed on various transactions. It is usually a flat rate which increases as the value of the transaction increases. The most common transactions subject to stamp duty are:
- Land Transfers
- Motor Vehicle Duty
- Hire of Goods
- General insurance
However, different states levy stamp duty on different transactions. You should refer to the state government website in your state for specific information.
In Victoria, charities are exempt from duty on transfer of property or a declaration of trust over property. Generally, an application for exemption should be made after a dutiable transaction is completed. New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory provide similar exemptions. In the ACT, land transfers to charitable organisations attract a concessional duty of $20. You should refer to the relevant state government website for information on how to apply for an exemption or concession and what documents must be provided.
This is a tax on land ownership and is assessed annually. The applicable rates of land tax payable can be found on the respective state government websites.
Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania provide a land tax exemption for land used for religious purposes. In the ACT residential land used by a religious institution to provide accommodation to a member to perform their duties is exempt from land tax. There is no land tax in the Northern Territory.
Council and Water Rates
Charitable institutions are generally exempt from the payment of council and water rates on land used exclusively for charitable purposes. However, you should contact your local council for specific information.
State Government Websites
Australian Capital Territory www.revenue.act.gov.au
New South Wales www.osr.nsw.gov.au
Northern Territory www.revenue.nt.gov.au
South Australian www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au
Western Australia www.osr.wa.gov.au