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  • Glossary

    Residential premises

    • At its simplest, residential premises are premises containing basic living facilities that are fit for human occupation as residential accommodation.
    • The sale, or long term lease, of residential premises is input taxed except for two specific classifications of residential premises:
    • new residential premises (for example, houses, apartments and villas)
    • commercial residential premises (for example, hotels, motels and hostels)
    • If residential premises are input taxed it means that you don't charge GST if you sell it, and you can't claim back GST if you buy it, even if registered for GST.

    See also:

    New residential premises

    New residential premises is a term that applies to residential premises where any of the following apply:

    • they have not previously been sold (or subject to a long term lease) as residential premises
    • they have been created through substantial renovations
    • new buildings are built to replace demolished buildings on the same land.

    See also:

    Potential residential land

    Potential residential land is land that it is permissible to be used for residential purposes but does not contain any buildings that are residential premises (for example houses and strata units.

    Local government zoning may permit a mixture of residential or commercial use but that is still considered potential residential land.


    The supplier (vendor or seller) is the entity or entities that hold the legal title to the property to which this withholding measure applies.

    Where the asset is held on behalf of another entity, the supplier is generally the legal owner of the asset, for example, the trustee or custodian who holds the legal title on behalf of beneficiaries.


    The purchaser is the entity or entities buying the property.

    Purchaser's or supplier's representative

    Depending on which State or Territory the property is being acquired in the purchaser's or supplier's representative for the conveyancing process can include a:

    • licenced conveyancer
    • solicitor
    • real estate agent.

    Note: Some jurisdictions may allow DIY conveyancing.

    Contract price

    In most cases, the contract price is the GST inclusive price of the supply as listed in the property sale contract.

    The contract price is normally used for calculating the amount a purchaser needs to withhold from the supplier and remit to us. Using the contract price for this calculation provides certainty, and the withholding calculation does not need to take into account normal settlement day adjustments such as disbursements paid to reflect apportionment of council rates, water rates, etc.

    Price of the supply

    The price of supply is usually the contract price but in certain circumstances the price of the supply may also include non-monetary consideration (for example, land swaps).

    If that is the case, the amount to be withheld by the purchaser needs to be calculated using the total consideration for the supply, and not just the monetary amount listed as the contract price.

    There are special rules relating to amount to be withheld calculation where the contract is between associates and the contract price is less than the GST inclusive market value of the property.

    Long term leases

    These types of property supplies are defined in the GST Act and the term relates to a supply by lease, hire or licence:

    • for at least 50 years (including renewals or extensions)
    • unless the supplier is an Australian Government agency, the terms of the lease, hire or licence for the recipient (for example, tenant) are substantially the same as those under which the supplier (for example, landlord) held the premises.

    For example, houses in the Australian Capital Territory are supplied by way of long term leases from the ACT government.

    Property subdivision plan

    A property subdivision plan means land where there is a plan to divide the land into smaller parts that has been registered under an Australian law. For example, strata plans, community plans or subdivision plans registered with the relevant State or Territory Land Title Office.

      Last modified: 15 May 2018QC 55431