Is Anybody Home? Vacant Land Tax Declare Date Looming

Time is running out to declare vacant properties to the State Revenue Office. Residential properties in Melbourne that are unoccupied for more than six months of the year must be declared and may be subject to vacant residential land tax. Declarations must be made by the 15th of January 2018.

The tax is currently set at 1% of the overall capital value of the house. For example, an unoccupied property worth $500,000 would leave landowners a whopping $5,000 out of pocket per year.

The tax was introduced in 2017 to encourage land owners to rent out vacant properties or make them available for purchase, in order to address the high demand for housing in some of Melbourne’s most wanted inner and middle suburbs. It is expected to raise up to $80 million over the coming four years, although Premier Daniel Andrews has stated that he would rather the tax raise no revenue at all, if it meant properties were being made available on the market to renters and home owners.

The State Revenue Office has stated that a compliancy program will be investigating both the non-reporting of vacant land, and incorrect exemption claims.
Declarations can be made online by visiting the State Revenue Office declarations portal.
More information about which areas will be affected and what exemptions may apply can be read here.

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