Land Tax and The Holiday Home

Owning a holiday home is a dream for many people, offering both an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the potential for capital growth over time. However, the pleasures of holiday home ownership comes with financial responsibilities. In many Australian states, including New South Wales, these responsibilities include land tax, a state-based tax levied annually on the unimproved value of land.

This article provides a guide to navigating land tax and its implications for your NSW holiday home. The information is general only and you should obtain professional advice relevant to your circumstances.

How Land Tax is Calculated

In NSW, the formula to calculate land tax is relatively complex, taking into account both the unimproved land value and the applicable rate. Land tax is levied when the combined value of all land owned by one person is above a certain threshold.

In 2023, the general threshold for land tax was $969,000. Those with property over this amount pay $100 plus 1.6% of the combined land value above the threshold, up to the ‘premium threshold’ of $5,925,000. Those with property valued over the premium threshold pay $79,396 plus 2% of the combined land value above the threshold.

It is important to note that the requirement to pay land tax differs across jurisdictions, as does the threshold values and rates for land tax in each area. If you own property that is located outside of NSW, it is vital to seek information relevant to that jurisdiction.

Land Valuation

Every year, the Valuer General determines the value of all land in NSW on 1 July. The taxable value of each parcel of land is determined on the average value from the current year and the two past years, where applicable.

If you are liable for land tax, you will receive an annual assessment notice that will include a list of all NSW land you owned on 31 December of the previous year and how much land tax you must pay.


The unimproved land value is calculated based on the total unimproved value of all land you own, minus any exemptions or deductions. However, in NSW, your principal place of residence is eligible for an exemption, which reduces your land tax liability. In addition, land that is used for primary production, such as farming, is exempt from inclusion.

Land tax assessments can consider the use and occupancy of the property as of midnight on 31 December each year. If you rent out your holiday home, it is considered an investment property. The land tax implications for investment properties are distinct from those for residential land. Income generated from renting the property may also impact your land tax liability.

Strategies to Minimise Land Tax

Consulting with a financial advisor or a tax professional with expertise in NSW land tax can help you explore available exemptions, deductions, and strategies to minimise your land tax liability. You may, for instance, consider dividing ownership of properties between family members to benefit from multiple thresholds and reduce the overall land tax liability. Alternatively, you may be able to use the property for primary production or heritage conservation and qualify for exemptions.

Given that land tax thresholds and rates change annually, you should stay informed about any updates or revisions to the tax system in NSW and adjust your financial planning accordingly. You should also regularly review your property portfolio to determine whether certain properties should be retained or divested to optimise land tax exposure.


Owning a holiday home in NSW can offer a delightful escape from the daily grind, but it also brings with it the obligation of land tax. Investors should be well-versed in the intricacies of land tax and its implications for holiday homes before making such a purchase. Understanding the various thresholds, rates, exemptions, and deductions is essential for managing your tax liability effectively.

By employing strategic measures and seeking professional guidance, you can minimise your land tax obligations while enjoying the pleasures of your holiday home. Regularly reviewing your property portfolio and staying informed about changes in land tax legislation will empower you to make informed financial decisions, ensuring that your holiday home remains a source of joy rather than a tax burden.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on 02 9629 6685 or email [email protected].