Victorian Land Tax Relief:  Frequently Asked Questions

Both houses of Victorian Parliament has recently passed amendments to the Victorian land tax provisions and they should be passed into law next week. 

 

This amendment will ensure that if a landlord provides tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with rent relief, the landlord will be eligible for a 25% discount on land tax, with any remaining land tax able to be deferred until March 2021.

 

It is expected that land tax relief will be available from 1 May 2020 via the State Revenue Office (SRO) website portal.

 

Here are some frequently asked questions relating to the Victorian land tax relief concession.

 


Land Tax Relief for Land Subject to Commercial and Residential Leases

As a commercial landlord, am I eligible for the tax relief?

If you are a commercial landlord and you meet the eligibility criteria for tax relief, you can access a 25% discount on the land tax for that property, and choose to defer the balance of your assessment until 31 March 2021.

 

To be eligible, landlords must demonstrate that:

  • All or part of their property is rented or all or part of the property is currently available for lease.
  • At least one of the tenant's ability to pay their normal rent or your ability to secure a tenant is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • You have provided rent relief to the affected tenant/s in accordance with this scheme.

 

The tenant must have an annual turnover up to $50 million and, as the landlord, you must provide evidence of the above points and evidence that your tenant is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

 


Am I eligible as a residential landlord for the tax relief?

If you are a residential landlord and you meet the eligibility criteria for tax relief, you can access a 25% discount on the land tax for that property, and choose to defer the balance of your 2020 land tax assessment until 31 March 2021.

 

To be eligible, landlords must demonstrate that:

  • All or part of their property is rented or all or part of the property is currently available for lease.
  • At least one of the tenant's ability to pay their normal rent or your ability to secure a tenant is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • You have provided rent relief to the affected tenant/s in accordance with this scheme.

 


What if I can't find a tenant because of COVID-19?

This relief is also available to land owners who are unable to secure a tenant (residential or commercial) because of COVID-19. 

 

How much rent relief do I need to provide on relevant property to get the 25% land tax reduction?

For residential and commercial landlords, the rent reduction (in dollar terms) must be at least 25% of the 2020 proportional land tax for that property.

 

Eligible landlords will be able to apply for the land tax reduction via the "My Land Tax" page at the SRO website (https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/) from Friday 1 May 2020.


 


Eligible Land Owners can defer their 2020 Land Tax Payment

Who is eligible for a deferral?

Land owners that have at least one taxable non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million.  Non-residential property includes commercial property, industrial property, and vacant land (excluding vacant residential land).

 

How do I know if I am eligible?

The SRO will contact all eligible taxpayers in relation to this measure.  You do not need to do anything at this stage.

 


How long can I defer payment?

Your 2020 land tax payment can be deferred until after 1 January 2021 and will need to be paid in full by 31 March 2021.

 

What if I have already paid my 2020 land tax?

You can request a return of the tax paid.  The tax will need to be paid in full by 31 March 2021.  The SRO will contact all eligible land owners and provide further information, including how to request the return of your payment.  You do not need to do anything at this stage.

 

 


Does this measure apply to residential properties?

The measure applies to a land owner that owns at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million.  Eligible land owners can defer their entire assessment, which may include residential land.

 

How do I find my total taxable landholding?

Your property information, including your total taxable landholding, is available via the "My Land Tax" page at the SRO website ( https://www.sro.vic.gov.au).


Please do not hesitate to contact your Lowe Lippmann Relationship Partner if you wish to discuss any of these matters further.