NSW Land Owners – Act now to avoid penalties

NSW Landholders have two weeks to address any possible land tax exposures they may have in order to avoid penalties.

Revenue NSW has offered an amnesty until 31 January 2020 for landowners to report their land tax underpayments without incurring penalties.

In practical terms, the amnesty requires landowners to register their landownership with Revenue NSW if they have never previously done so. Other landowners may need to amend, online, the details of their registered land if they have exposures. 

The five most common land tax exposure scenarios in NSW are:

  • The principal place of residence exemption being claimed on the more valuable property than the one you actually live in
  • Renting out your principal place of residence while you are absent from it
  • Claiming the primary production land exemption for non-viable farms
  • Discretionary trusts obtaining the land tax free threshold
  • Land tax surcharge not being paid on residential land held by companies and trusts with foreign person shareholders and beneficiaries.

From February this year, we expect Revenue NSW will begin to impose penalties on up to five years of land tax exposures. Penalties can be as high as 90% of the tax levied. With the now compulsory requirement for landowners to provide buyers with land tax clearance certificates when selling property, the chances of escaping land tax exposures are minimal. No one wants to pay tax but this is the best opportunity to identify and address any land tax exposures you may have at least cost.


Mazars can assist with a review of any potential exposures that may need action by 31 January 2020. For assistance please speak to your usual Mazars advisor or alternatively our tax specialists:


Brisbane – Jamie Towers

Melbourne – Michael Jones

Sydney – Stephen Baxter

+61 7 3218 3900

+61 3 9252 0800

+61 2 9922 1166


Published: 15/01/2020

Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice. Content is accurate as at the date published.