Examples of duty and rates

This page has information on the types of dutiable property and other transactions that attract stamp duty in the Northern Territory (NT). Read the law.

These include:

  • land in the NT
  • business property
  • an option to acquire land or business property in the NT
  • deeds relating to trusts
  • general insurance policies
  • leases (in limited circumstances)
  • land-holding corporations and unit trusts
  • vehicle certificates of registration and transfers.

To find out how much stamp duty you need to pay for land or business property, use the online calculator.

Read below for more information.

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Land in the NT

You will need to pay stamp duty if you acquire land in the NT.

Land includes:

  • residential, commercial or industrial real estate
  • a lease of land
  • a mining tenement such as exploration licences
  • a fixture to land.

A fixture means any physical property permanently fixed to land.

Business property

You will need to pay stamp duty if you acquire a business in the NT.

Business property includes:
  • land
  • mining tenements
  • plant and equipment only if acquired with other dutiable property
  • goodwill
  • statutory business licences
  • intellectual property rights such as:
    • business name
    • trading name
    • trademark
    • any thing, system or process that is subject of a patent
    • registered design
    • copyright.

You don't have to pay stamp duty for any of the following:

  • stock-in-trade - finished goods or goods purchased for resale
  • materials held for manufacture - raw materials being made into finished goods
  • goods under manufacturer -  work in progress
  • livestock
  • motor vehicles that are to be registered or the registration transferred
  • cash or money in an account at call
  • negotiable instruments or money on deposit.

Exemptions and concessions

The most common exemptions and concessions provided for land or business transactions under the stamp duty legislation and some other statutes include:

  • first home buyers
  • seniors, pensioners and carers
  • principal place of residence
  • deceased estates
  • property settlements
  • trust distribution
  • transfer to joint names of spouses
  • transfer of interest in farm between family members
  • corporate restructures.

For more information on common exemptions read the stamp duty lodgement guide (355.8 kb).

If you are building or buying a home, you may be eligible for financial help. Find out more about home owner incentives.

Deeds relating to trusts

A $20 stamp duty fee applies to a deed relating to a trust. Subsequent copies or counterparts are $5 each.

This includes a deed that:

  • constitutes a trust
  • varies a trust in any way
  • deals with actual, potential or contingent interests or entitlements under a trust
  • ends a trust.

General insurance policies

You must pay stamp duty for general insurance policies that relate to property or risk that may occur in the NT.

The amount of stamp duty is calculated at a rate of 10% of the premium you paid for the policy.

Where the policy also relates to property or risk outside the NT, the premium is allocated accordingly.

For more information get the Commissioner's guidelines: stamp duty on general insurance (679.5 kb).

Policies not liable for stamp duty

Policies that are not liable for stamp duty include:

  • re-insurance effected with another insurer
  • the insurance of a hull or floating vessel that is mainly used for commercial purposes
  • the insurance of goods or merchandise or the freight of goods or merchandise carried by sea, land or air
  • an insurance policy taken out under the Return to Work Act
  • an insurance policy entered into the course of a health insurance business conducted by a registered health benefits organisation
  • some policies of residential building insurance and fidelity certificates taken out as a requirement under the Building Act.

Leases

Stamp duty is payable on a lease if a premium is paid to the landlord in addition to or instead of rent in order to get the lease.

Duty is calculated on the amount or value of the premium.

Land-holding corporations and unit trusts

You must pay stamp duty if you acquire a significant or further interest in a land-holding corporation or a unit trust scheme that is entitled to an interest in land with an unencumbered value of $500,000 or more.

Land entitlements include those of ‘linked entities’ of the corporation or unit trust scheme.

Provisions apply whether or not the land-holding entity is listed on a recognised financial market.

Different thresholds apply as follows:

  • unlisted entities - a significant interest is 50% or more
  • listed entities - a significant interest is 90% or more. If the listing is, or is part of a tax avoidance scheme, the threshold is 50%.

Special rules apply to mergers of land holding entities. Read the law.

Life insurance policies

You don't have to pay stamp duty on a life insurance policy issued after 1 July 2015.

However, insurance riders attached to policies entered after this date continue to be taxed as general insurance.

Vehicle certificates of registration and transfers

You may need to pay stamp duty when you register or transfer a motor vehicle.

Stamp duty is calculated at the rate of $3 per $100 or part thereof of the purchase price of the vehicle. This includes additional equipment and accessories fitted to the vehicle if the transaction is made on normal commercial terms.

In any other case, duty is calculated on the greater of the market value at the time of the transaction or at the time the application for registration or transfer is made.

Get the stamp duty motor vehicles fact sheet (169.5 kb).

Last updated: 20 March 2018