QLD Land Tax Relief for Landowners

The Queensland Government has announced some measures to assist landowners in relation to their land tax obligations.

Landowners may be eligible for one or more of the following relief measures:

  • Land tax rebate – 25% reduction in the 2019/20 assessment for eligible properties (see below for further details on eligibility and how to apply)
  • Waiver of the 2% land tax foreign surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019/20 assessment (land tax will be automatically re-assessed and a refund issued where the amount has already been paid)
  • 3-month deferral of land tax liabilities for the 2020/21 assessment (this measure will be automatically applied)

Eligibility for the land tax rebate:

A landowner can apply for land tax relief if either of the following circumstances apply:

  • They rent out all or part of a property to at least one tenant who is unable to make payments due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and rent relief commensurate with the land tax rebate is passed on to the tenant, and the new leasing principles (see further below) are followed.

OR

  • The landowner’s property is available for rent but unable to be leased due to the Coronavirus and relief is required to meet their own financial obligations, such as debt repayments.

If a landowner is eligible for the land tax rebate under both the above circumstances, they are expected to provide rent relief to their tenants first, then apply any remaining rebate to their own financial obligations.

The land tax rebate will be provided on a property by property basis – not to a landowner’s total taxable landholdings.

Where there are multiple tenants for a single property, including mixed-use developments, so long as the eligibility requirements are met for at least one tenancy, then the whole property will be deemed eligible for the rebate.

Applications can be made from 14 April 2020 through to 30 June 2020 via the Office of State Revenue website:  https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/tax

Relief for QLD Residential Tenants

The Queensland Government will provide support for Queenslanders who are unable to meet their residential rental obligations and are at risk of becoming homeless.  Queenslanders may be eligible for a crisis payment of up to $500 a week for up to four (4) weeks ($2,000 maximum) if the following applies:

  • They are currently renting a property or will shortly move into a new property;
  • They have lost their job and have applied to Centrelink for the COVID-19 income support;
  • They are waiting for their application with Centrelink to be approved; and
  • They have evidence negotiating a payment approach with their landlord or property manager, as well as evidence of conciliation with the Residential Tenancies Authority, but cannot reach agreement.

Contact the Residential Tenancies Authority for more information: https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/

New Leasing Principles for Residential & Commercial Landowners

As part of the Queensland Government’s relief package for landlords and tenants announced on 9 April 2020, new leasing principles will be introduced as law in Queensland for both residential and commercial landowners to abide by and should be considered in conjunction with the Mandatory Code of Conduct announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April 2020 for small and medium enterprise commercial tenancies.
The new leasing principles are detailed here: https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/budget-and-financial-management/revenue-and-taxation/leasing-principles/

Contact your Cooper Reeves Advisor for further assistance.