Stamp duty. Transfer duty. What are they and are they the same?

Stamp duty. It’s a term commonly tossed around in real estate. But what does it actually mean?

Well, you’re in luck. Stamp duty and transfer duty are the same thing. We used to call it stamp duty but recently we’ve started calling it transfer duty. Easy!

So, what do you need to know about stamp/transfer duty?

Generally, stamp duty (or transfer duty) is a levy or tax applied whenever you sell, buy or transfer property (including land or the rights to land). Stamp/transfer duty is charged on ‘dutiable transactions’. In real estate this includes:

  1. Signing a contract to buy or sell property; or
  2. Giving a share of a property you own to someone as a gift; or
  3. Creating a trust over land that you previously owned in your own right for your children or family members.

In Queensland, stamp duty is calculated on either the unencumbered value of the property or the amount you agree to pay (whichever is higher – this is the ‘dutiable value’).

The rates of duty apply to the dutiable value of the property to determine how much you have to pay. There are circumstances were concessions or exemptions may apply to a dutiable transaction were you may have less to pay.

Generally, you must lodge documents for stamping within 30 days from the date they’re signed (this means that stamp duty/transfer duty must be paid within 30 days of settlement of a property). If you haven’t had the documents stamped and paid the duty, the transfer won’t be completed.

stamp duty


Stamp/transfer duty may be unpleasant but the money collected through this “duty” does inevitably end up back in our communities.

This information was correct at the time of publishing but is subject to change. Please refer to the Queensland Government website for the most up to date information.


  • “Stamp duty” is also called “transfer duty”
  • Each state has different stamp/transfer duty requirements. Here’s a fun calculator to help you work out what you might pay in stamp/transfer duty on a particular property purchase. The Queensland Government also have a calculator available here
  • In Queensland, there are concession rates available for home, first home and first home vacant land. Read more about these concession rates here
  • The purchaser/buyer pays stamp/transfer duty for real estate transactions
  • Stamp/transfer duty is in addition to the purchase price


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Stamp duty. Transfer duty. What are they and are they the same?