A 2024 Guide to GST on Queensland Property Transactions

Jan 16, 2024

For any property transaction in Queensland, navigating the complexities of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) can feel like navigating a labyrinth. Fear not, intrepid property adventurers! This 2024 guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the GST landscape with confidence, ensuring your transaction is smooth and compliant.

Navigating the complexities of GST on property transactions

Understanding the GST Basics:

First, let's establish the ground rules. GST is a 10% tax levied on the supply of most goods and services in Australia. However, when it comes to property, the application of GST is nuanced. Here's a breakdown of the key scenarios:

1. Existing Residential Property:

The sale of an existing residential property, whether by a developer, builder, or individual, is exempt from GST. This applies to houses, units, apartments, and townhouses that have been previously lived in.

2. New Residential Premises:

Step into the realm of new residential premises, and the plot thickens. This category includes:

Newly built properties: Houses, units, etc., never before occupied.
Significantly renovated properties: Existing properties that have undergone substantial renovations or extensions.
Subdivided land: Land divided into smaller lots for the construction of new residential dwellings.

For these new residential premises, the standard GST rate of 10% applies. However, there's a glimmer of hope in the form of the residential rental concession. If the buyer intends to use the property for long-term residential rental purposes (at least 25 years), the GST rate is reduced to 5.5%. This concession can significantly reduce the financial burden for investors and developers.

3. Commercial Property and Vacant Land:

The sale of commercial properties, including offices, retail spaces, and industrial buildings, is subject to the standard GST rate of 10%. Similarly, vacant land, with the exception of land specifically zoned for residential purposes, is also subject to GST.

A handshake between a buyer and seller with a checklist in the background. (Alt: Ensuring a smooth and compliant property transaction

Important Considerations:

Understanding the basic principles is just the first step. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

GST implications for contracts: Ensure your contract clearly specifies whether the sale price includes GST or is exclusive of it.
GST registration for buyers: If you're a GST-registered business and intend to use the property for business purposes, you may be able to claim a credit for the GST paid.
Seeking professional advice: Due to the complexities of GST, consulting a qualified property lawyer or accountant is crucial to ensure compliance and maximize potential benefits.

Beyond the Basics: Frequently Asked Questions:

What constitutes "significant renovation"?

This is a grey area, and professional advice is recommended. Generally, renovations that significantly alter the property's layout or structure may qualify.

What happens if I change my mind about using the property for residential rental purposes?

If you initially claim the concession but later change your mind, you may be liable to repay the difference in GST.

Are there any exemptions for commercial property sales? Some limited exemptions exist, such as for the sale of a "going concern" (a business transferred as a whole).


Understanding the intricacies of GST on Queensland property transactions is essential for any smooth and compliant sale or purchase. By equipping yourself with the knowledge in this guide and seeking professional advice, you can navigate the maze with confidence and secure a successful property transaction.

Call to Action:

Have questions about your specific situation? Don't hesitate to reach out to a qualified property lawyer like myself. We're here to guide you through the complexities of GST and ensure your property transaction journey is a smooth and successful one.