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Did your Victorian land tax bill give you a fright?
27 March 2023 | Minutes to read: 2

Did your Victorian land tax bill give you a fright?

By Neil Brennan

Victorian landowners have been in receipt of their 2022 land tax assessments in the recent weeks and although the actual rate of land tax in Victoria hasn’t increased since 2019, the amounts owing have increased. For some, the increase has seen their land tax bill double since it was based on their August 2022 council property valuation. The initial shock for owner occupiers is pronounced given they experience the direct impact, but it can be just as confronting for a commercial tenant who bears the brunt of the increase in oncosts of which they may not yet have been notified.

To review your land tax valuation

Given the dramatic increase in valuations, this year more than ever is the year for land taxpayers to review the accuracy of their assessment. For most, an objection to a 2022 land tax assessment must be lodged by 10 April 2023 for it to be considered by the State Revenue Office.

Both landlords and tenants can apply to have land tax assessments reviewed.

Land tax valuations can be reviewed for the following reasons:

  • the assessed taxable value is higher than the ‘true’ value
  • the land in the assessment is incorrectly described
  • the land has been assessed under the wrong owner
  • the apportioned taxable value is incorrect
  • the owner’s proportionate interest is incorrectly calculated
  • the land is incorrectly treated as group property.

Beware of the risks with land tax reviews

If you believe your land falls into one of these categories, you are entitled to object. Before making an objection, it is important to consider the risk in undertaking the review as some valuations can be returned with a higher value and hence result in a higher incidence of land tax.

We recommend employing the services of an expert in this field to ensure that landowners achieve their optimal outcome. This requires a practical assessment of the cost benefit so the more time you have available to make that call the better. In Victoria you can lodge an intention to object prior to the 10 April 2023 due date and make a subsequent assessment of whether to pursue the review. This will provide some breathing space for the preparation of any formal documents.

If you are a commercial tenant and have not yet been provided with the details of this year’s assessed amount that you will be liable to pay, we strongly recommend you contact your property manager to assess the potential increase. It is not unusual for us to hear of tenants who are not advised of the increase in rate until around 30 June, and by this date you are unable to take action to have the land valuation reviewed let alone have the capacity to plan for the dramatic increase in the oncost.

If you would like to discuss your options, or for more information on land tax assessments, please contact your local William Buck Advisor and we will support you through the process.

For information about NSW land tax and the recent increase, please read our article on NSW land tax liabilities. 

Did your Victorian land tax bill give you a fright?

Neil Brennan

Neil is the national leader of William Buck Australia's Business Advisory division and Property and Construction group. Neil services a broad base of property focused clients by providing advice around business structuring, strategic business and planning advice and cash flow strategies to enable his clients to maximise the return on their investments while navigating the complex regulatory environment associated with property transactions.

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