Budgeting

Stamp Duty and Other Government Fees

Government fees are an unavoidable part of buying a home. Don’t let them catch you off guard!

Be prepared for government fees such as:

1. Stamp duty

Stamp duty (also called transfer duty) is a particularly hefty tax that the state government charges all home buyers.

Like any tax, the money raised from stamp duty is used by the government to help fund public services such as:

  • health,
  • education, and
  • public safety services.

The amount of stamp duty you’ll need to pay depends on the price of the property you’re purchasing. It’s calculated on a scale, so the higher the cost of the property, the higher the stamp duty charge will be. For example, a property costing $120 000 will cost about $2 280 in stamp duty, while a property costing $725 001 will cost around $28 453 in stamp duty (these estimates can be influenced by a variety of factors, so see Department of Finance for more info).

If you’re a first home buyer and you’re buying a home for less than $500 000, you can apply for stamp duty to be waived. See the Department of Finance’s First Home Owner Rate of Duty Fact Sheet for more information.

2. Registration fee

For a property to transfer into your name, your settlement agent needs to register the transfer with Landgate. Landgate charges a registration fee for this – which starts at $160 but is often much more, depending on the price of the property.

3. Enquiry fees

To ensure your shire and water rates are up to date, and that the property isn’t subject to any orders, your settlement agent will need to contact a range of governing bodies – each of whom charge an enquiry fee ranging between $30 and $250. These include the:

  • Local shire,
  • Water Corporation,
  • WA Planning Commission, and the
  • State Revenue Office.

Sound like a lot of fees?

A settlement agent’s quote, which typically include government fees, can help you factor them into your budget. Our quotes typically consist of:

  • Stamp duty,
  • Enquiry fees,
  • Registration fees,
  • Disbursement fees, and
  • Our settlement fee.

A settlement agent’s quote, inclusive of government fees, provides piece of mind and can help you avoid surprise costs later down the track!

Image by Images_of_Money (TaxBrackets) via Flickr.

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