General

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is payable on various instruments or transactions as follows:

  • Acquisition of Real Estate and Business Property; 
  • Acquisition of shares in a Land-holding Corporation or Unit Trust; 
  • Grants of leases of land where valuable consideration in addition to or without rent is given for the lease; 
  • General Insurance Policies; 
  • Deeds constituting extinguishing or varying in any way a trust; and
  • Motor Vehicle Certificates of Registration (issues and transfers). 

For a general summary of these duties, refer to the brochures:

I-GEN-001: Territory Taxes - Information for Business (pdf, 163kb)
I-SD-001: Stamp duty on business property and rights (pdf, 181kb)
I-SD-003: Stamp duty and fishing licenses (pdf, 138kb) 
I-SD-005: Stamp duty and motor vehicles (pdf, 172kb) 

What information must be lodged when submitting a document for assessment?

When submitting a document for assessment of duty you must complete a F-SD-001: Stamp Duty Lodgement Form (pdf, 373kb) providing your contact details and a description of the document. Territory Revenue Office has also issued a F-SD-001: Stamp Duty Lodgement Guide (pdf, 373kb) that details the information required by the Commissioner of Territory Revenue to assess most types of documents/transactions. It is important that this information is provided when the documents are lodged as the duty is payable within 60 days after the document is executed (signed).

When must documents and statements be lodged for assessment and duty paid?

Dutiable documents and statements must generally be lodged for assessment and the duty paid within 60 days of execution of the document or 60 days after the occurrence of the transaction that gave rise to the requirement to create the statement. However, extensions apply to eligible conditional agreements.

For further information on lodgement and payment requirements and extensions for eligible conditional contracts, refer to the following Commissioner’s Guidelines. 

Commissioner's Guideline CG-SD-001: Document lodgement and payment periods (pdf, 75kb) 

Commissioner's Guideline CG-SD-002: Eligible conditional agreements - extension of time to lodge instrument and pay duty (pdf, 79kb)
Commissioner's Guideline CG-SD-002: Eligible conditional agreements - extension of time to lodge instrument and pay duty (docx, 700kb)

When paying by cheque, who should I make the cheque out to?

Cheques are to be made payable to the Receiver of Territory Monies.

What payment options are there?

Payments can be made by:

  • by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

     

    Payment by EFT can be made using the details below:

     

    Bank National Australia Bank
    BSB 085-933
    Account No. 187 960 174
    Account title DTF Territory Revenue Office

    When remitting payment via EFT please ensure that you include your EFT payment code in the reference field. Failure to include the correct EFT payment code will result in delays in processing your payment and may lead to payments being rejected. Your EFT payment code for stamp duty lodgements is your lodgement number (eg: LN123456). If you are unsure of your lodgement number you must contact the Territory Revenue Office before payment is made.

  • by post (cheque and money order only)
    Territory Revenue Office
    Attention: Revenue Collections
    GPO Box 154

    Darwin NT 0801 

  • in person (cash and cheques only)
    Territory Revenue Office
    Level 14, Charles Darwin Centre
    19 The Mall
    Darwin
    Office hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Please note that payments cannot be made by credit card.

For more information on payment options, please contact Territory Revenue Office on: 1300 305 353 or email us on: ntrevenue@nt.gov.au.

What if I can't lodge the original document for assessment within the required time?

Territory Revenue Office acknowledges that it is not always possible to lodge the original document for assessment. In such instances, you should lodge a copy of the document for assessment and payment. Embossing of the duty paid can be transferred to the original instrument when it becomes available.

How long will it take to assess the stamp duty payable on my documents?

TRO's Service Charter states that we will issue stamp duty assessments for 90 per cent of all documents within five business days of receipt of all relevant information.

What can I do if I need an urgent assessment?

In circumstances where an assessment is required urgently by a regular lodging party, that person should provide an email or letter to TRO that:

  1. advises the reason(s) for urgency and failure to lodge the instrument earlier;
  2. includes an undertaking that the stamp duty will be paid immediately after an assessment is issued; and
  3. is accompanied by a completed F-SD-001: Stamp Duty Lodgement Form (pdf, 373kb) and all relevant information and supporting documentation required by TRO to assess the instrument(s).

Where this requirement is met, the matter will be considered and, if appropriate, progressed as quickly as possible. As each case will depend on its individual circumstances, TRO will provide an indication of when the assessment will be available for collection after the email or letter, together with the other required information, have been considered.

TRO has a I-SD-001: Stamp Duty Lodgement Guide (pdf, 378kb) which sets out the standard information generally required by TRO to assist in the prompt and accurate assessment of dutiable instruments.

Acquisition of Real Estate and Business Property

What is dutiable property?

Dutiable property is defined in section 4 of the Stamp Duty Act as:

  • Land including a lease, a mining tenement, information relating to the tenement and fixtures attached to the land (eg buildings) comprised in a lease or a mining tenement (as from 1 July 2008 mining tenement includes rights to explore for resources such as a Exploration Licence or Exploration Retention Licence under the Mineral Titles Act);
  • Goodwill of a business undertaking carried on or to be carried on in the Territory, or in the Territory and elsewhere;
  • Statutory business licences (eg. fishing, liquor, broadcasting licences, etc.);
Intellectual property rights including:
  • a right to use a business name, trading name or trade mark;
  • a right to use a thing, system or process that is the subject of a patent, a registered design or a copyright;
  • a right to use information or technical knowledge; and
  • a patent, a registered design or a copyright; 

An option to purchase dutiable property or an interest in dutiable property; 

Chattels but only when acquired with other dutiable property, other than:

  • goods, wares or merchandise that are stock-in-trade;
  • materials held for manufacture;
  • goods under manufacture;
  • livestock; 
  • any motor vehicle in respect of which a motor vehicle certificate of registration is or will be issued; 
  • cash, money in an account at call; or
  • negotiable instruments, and money on deposit with any person; and

An estate or interest (which may be a partnership interest) in dutiable property.

I am purchasing a business in the Northern Territory. Do I have to pay stamp duty?

The purchase of certain business property and rights are subject to stamp duty. For more details, refer to brochure I-SD-002: Stamp Duty and business and property rights (pdf, 181kb).

What is the rate of duty?

An escalating rate of duty applies up to $525 000 of the dutiable value of the property (ie. the greater of the consideration paid or the unencumbered value of the property). Where the dutiable amount exceeds $525 000 but is less than $3 million, the duty is 4.95 per cent of the dutiable amount. When the dutiable value is $3 million or more, duty is calculated at 5.45 per cent of the dutiable value. View the calculator for an estimate of the duty payable.

How long do I have to pay the duty on a contract for the sale of land?

Duty is required to be paid within 60 days after the contract is executed (signed) whether the contract is conditional or unconditional otherwise late payment penalties apply. However, an extension of time to lodge and pay applies to eligible conditional agreements. For further details to Commissioner's Guideline CG-SD-002: Eligible conditional agreements - extension of time to lodge instrument and pay duty (pdf, 79kb).

Are there any concessions for home buyers?

Yes. For more information, view the Home Owner Incentives page.

Is stamp duty payable on property settlements resulting from the breakdown of a marriage?

No, providing the parties have entered into an agreement that has been registered with the Family Court or, the Court has made an order for the transfer of the property. However, the transfer must still be lodged with Territory Revenue Office for stamping. A copy of the approved agreement or order should also be provided to support the exemption.

Is stamp duty payable on property settlements resulting from the breakdown of a de facto relationship?

No, an exemption is provided under the De facto Relationships Act. However, the transfer must still be lodged with Territory Revenue Office for stamping. An application F-SD-006: Exemption – Settlement of property de facto relationship (pdf, 339kb) must be lodged in support of the exemption.

Are transfers of property between family members liable to duty?

Generally yes, but exemptions apply in the following limited circumstances:

Are there any concessions for pensioners?

Yes – there are concessions for home buyers including a Senior, Pensioner and Carer Concession specifically for eligible pensioners. For more information view the Home Owner Incentives page.

Motor Vehicle Certificate of Registration

Is stamp duty payable on a motor vehicle certificate of registration?

Yes. If the transaction is between parties that are at arms-length, duty is payable at the rate of $3.00 per $100 or part thereof of the purchase price of the vehicle (including accessories), otherwise, duty is payable on the market value of the vehicle (including accessories). For more detailed information refer to the Stamp Duty & Motor Vehicles brochure (pdf, 172kb) or the Application for Exemption - Stamp Duty on a Motor Vehicle (pdf, 238kb).

Are there any concessions for pensioners?

No concessions are available for pensioners except for a person who is entitled to a special rate of pension (TPI pensioner) under section 24(4) of the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 (Cwlth) or an Extreme Disablement Adjustment (EDA) pension under section 24(2) of that Act providing the vehicle is for personal use. To claim the exemption, you must complete the Application for Exemption - Stamp Duty on a Motor Vehicle (pdf, 238kb) and present it to the Motor Vehicle Registry at the time you apply for the registration or transfer.

Is stamp duty payable on transfer resulting from the breakdown of a marriage?

No, providing the parties have entered into an agreement that has been registered with the Family Court or, the Court has made an order for the transfer of the property. To claim the exemption, you must complete the
Application for Exemption - Stamp Duty on a Motor Vehicle (pdf, 238kb) and present it with the supporting evidence detailed therein to the Motor Vehicle Registry at the time you apply for the registration or transfer.

Is stamp duty payable on property settlements resulting from the breakdown of a de facto relationship?

No. An exemption is provided under the De facto Relationships Act. To claim the exemption, you must complete the Application for Exemption - Stamp Duty on a Motor Vehicle (pdf, 238kb) and present it with the supporting evidence detailed therein to the Motor Vehicle Registry at the time you apply for the registration or transfer.

Are transfers between family members liable to duty?

No, providing the transfer is between spouses (including de facto spouses) or parent to child or stepchild and vice versa, and no monetary consideration is paid (the vehicle is gifted). In all other cases (ie. sibling to sibling) the transfer is liable to stamp duty. To claim the exemption, you must complete the Application for Exemption - Stamp Duty on a Motor Vehicle (pdf, 238kb and present it to the Motor Vehicle Registry at the time you apply for the registration or transfer.

Is duty payable on a transfer from a business name to a sole trader's name?

No, providing there is no change in the legal ownership of the vehicle. When seeking a change in the registration particulars, you must complete the Application for Exemption - Stamp Duty on a Motor Vehicle (pdf, 238kb) and present it to the Motor Vehicle Registry at the time you apply for the registration or transfer.

Exemption for certain Organisations and Institutions

An exemption applies for organisations such as a:

(a) public hospital or
(b) public benevolent institution; or
(c) religious institution; or
(d) public education institution; or
(e) council, society, organisation or other body established or carried on exclusively or principally for the promotion of the interests of a school (other than a school carried on for profit);or
(f) non-profit organisation having as its sole or dominant purpose a charitable, benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose.

To assist the Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR), Territory Revenue Office (TRO) issues a Certificate of Exemption confirming the exempt status of the organisation, which remains in force for a period of five years. The Certificate should be presented to MVR, either directly or through the dealer from whom the vehicle was purchased, when applying for the registration or transfer, together a completed application for exemption which is on the reverse side of the Stamp Duty Exemptions - Motor Vehicle Certificates of Registration brochure.

To obtain a certificate, an application in writing should be made to TRO together with supporting evidence of the organisations exempt status (i.e. a copy of its constitution), annual report and any other relevant information. If duty has been already paid, an application for refund can be made to TRO.

Lease of Land

How is the duty calculated on a lease?

Lease duty on 'rent' was abolished on 1 July 2006. However, the grant of a lease remains liable to duty at the same rate as an acquisition of land where valuable consideration (i.e. a premium) in addition to or without rent is payable for the lease.

Duty is calculated on the amount or value of the consideration payable.

Is duty payable on residential leases?

Yes, but only where valuable consideration (i.e. a premium) in addition to or without rent is payable for the lease. However, a lease that is a residence contract under the Retirement Villages Act is exempt from duty.

General Insurance

Is there an exemption for religious, public benevolent and charitable organisations?

No.

How is a stamp duty refund claimed when an insurance policy is cancelled?

If a policy of insurance is cancelled, an insurer may apply in writing to the Commissioner of Territory Revenue for a refund of the amount of duty paid, based on the unexpired period of the policy. Where the insurer has recovered the amount of duty from the policy holder, the Commissioner will make a refund only if satisfied that the insurer has made arrangements to refund that amount to the policy holder

What is meant by 'in the Territory'?

Stamp duty is payable on a policy of insurance in respect of property in the Territory, or a risk that may occur within the Territory. The phrase 'in the Territory' also includes the coastal waters of the Territory. The Coastal Waters (Northern Territory Title) Act 1980 vests the same rights and titles in the sea-bed under the coastal waters of the Territory, and the space above the sea-bed (including space occupied by water) in the Territory as if that space were in the limits of the Territory.