For NSW, the land tax threshold is available to individual property investors, joint owners or tenants in common, companies, fixed unit trusts and self-managed superannuation funds. What this means is that these entities do not pay any land tax until the taxable value of the land they hold exceeds the land tax threshold which is currently $755,000 for NSW. However, a discretionary trust and some unit trusts (i.e. non fixed units trusts) do not receive this threshold and are taxed at a flat rate of 1.6% of the taxable value of the properties.
By way of example, if the taxable value of the interest in a property is $500,000, then a discretionary trust will incur an annual land tax liability of $8,000.
Further to NM95’s comment, do consider that different states may well have different laws.
e.g. for Qld, a trust has a $350k allowance before Land Tax is charged, while (according to nm95 above) NSW seems to have no allowance.
Why not ask that same accountant to spell out for you exactly what applies in your state for your Trust (if you went ahead with it). As you can see, Land Tax can be a significant part of your total costs.
Using nm95’s example of $8000pa, how much is that per week? Scarey huh? Would the tenants stump up the extra do you think? ;)
PS Steve has made the comment before of “new investors setting up expensive Trusts to protect very little”…. and that is worth some thought. If you are starting out and are not sure whether or not property investing is to be your calling, there are other ways to protect yourself that aren’t as costly.
Of course if you ARE planning on making this a significant business venture, then using Trusts is a very sensible approach imho.
beware as accountants cannot advise on land tax as it is state law and doing so would be providing legal advice for which they would not be covered by insurance. This is the case also when they set up trusts.
In WA a trustee of a discretionary trust could get a separate land tax threshold to land they hold beneficially (not as trustee).