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  • Vacancy fee form and payment instructions

    The vacancy fee form and payment instruction page explains how to:

    • lodge a vacancy fee return
    • update your details if your situation changes
    • how to make a payment.

    The vacancy fee return must be lodged by:

    • foreign owners of residential dwellings who made a foreign investment application for residential property after 7.30pm AEST on 9 May 2017
    • foreign owners of residential dwellings who purchased under a New dwelling exemption certificate that a developer applied for after 7:30pm AEST on 9 May 2017.

    The vacancy fee may also apply if a foreign person failed to submit a foreign investment application but purchased a residential property before 9 May 2017.

    Foreign owners of vacant land do not have to lodge a vacancy fee return until a dwelling has been constructed on the land.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    Completing your vacancy fee form

    You must complete your vacancy fee form in full and submit it in one session. You can't save an incomplete form and return to complete it at a later date.

    Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*). Use the Help button on the top right-hand side of the form to find extra information about each field in the application form.

    You can move back and forth between sections using the Back and Next buttons.

    If there are errors on the form, a message will display so you can correct the information. You can't submit a form with errors.

    You can print or save this form to your own device for record-keeping purposes – use the Print friendly version button on each page.

    Start your Vacancy fee form

    Lodge your vacancy fee form here

    Step 1: Terms and conditions

    Read the terms and conditions carefully. It outlines your obligations and how we will use the information on the vacancy fee form.

    Check the 'I agree to the terms and conditions' box, and then click the Continue button.

    Step 2: Owner details

    You will need to provide information on whether the foreign owner of the residential dwelling:

    • is the sole owner
    • owns the dwelling with another party
    • owns the dwelling as joint tenants or as tenants in common.

    If the dwelling is jointly owned, you will need to enter the details of the other owners. Only one vacancy fee return needs to be lodged for joint owners of a dwelling (where they were included on the same application for approval for the purchase).

    Foreign owners who own the dwelling as tenants in common are each required to lodge an individual vacancy fee return.

    You also need to select the owner type from the list and provide relevant details:

    • If the owner is an individual provide given name, family name, date of birth, email and phone details.
    • If the owner is a company, provide the name of primary contact, company name, a current email address and phone number.
    • If the owner is a trust, provide the name of the primary contact, trust name, a current email address and phone number.

    Step 3: Property details

    The property statement selected will determine if you need to lodge a vacancy return.

    Provide the land registration number and address details from the vacancy fee reminder to lodge email that we have sent to you.. If you have not received a reminder email, make sure you are registered with the Land and water register. Refer to Annual vacancy fee for foreign owners.

    Property statement

    Select the Property statement that applies to the property you are completing this form for. The following guidance will help you select the relevant statement:

    • A new dwelling has been constructed on the land – select if you have received a certificate or notice of occupancy. You will be required to enter the date it was issued and the number of dwellings constructed on the land. If more than one dwelling is constructed on the land a separate Land and water registration is required for each new dwelling.
    • There was a dwelling on the land for the entire vacancy year – select if you are declaring a dwelling has been held by you for a 12-month period. If you have purchased a property for redevelopment with an existing dwelling, if the dwelling is still on the land you must select this option. When you select this option you will be required to lodge the vacancy fee return.
    • The property is vacant land or was purchased for redevelopment and it does not have dwelling on the land – select if there is no dwelling on the property. This includes where the property was purchased for redevelopment and the pre-existing dwelling has been demolished.
    • The property has been disposed of before the end of the vacancy year – select if you have disposed of your property during the vacancy year. Enter the date the property was disposed of. We will use this information to update your Land and water registration.
    • Owner(s) deceased during the vacancy year – select if one or more owners have died during the vacancy year. Enter the date of death. We will use this information to update the Land and water registration property details.
    • Owner(s) no longer a foreign person – select if one or more owners are no longer a foreign person during the vacancy year. Enter the date that owner(s) are no longer a foreign person. We will use this information to update your Land and water registration property details.

    Step 4: Vacancy fee return

    The vacancy fee return page will appear if you selected the option, There was a dwelling on the land for the entire vacancy year. You will be required to lodge a vacancy fee return.

    Enter the vacancy year start date from the vacancy fee reminder email we sent you to complete the vacancy year section. The end date will be calculated for you.

    Select the statement which specifies how your property was occupied during the vacancy year, either:

    • The property was residentially occupied for 183 days or more in the vacancy year.
    • The property was residentially occupied for fewer than 183 days in the vacancy year.
    • The dwelling was exempt from being residentially occupied for 183 days of more during the vacancy year.

    An exemption will apply if you can show that, for at least 183 days in the vacancy year, the relevant dwelling is incapable of being occupied as a residence. However you are still required to lodge the vacancy fee return. From the drop down list, select the appropriate type of exemption:

    • Repair – the property was undergoing substantial repair due to fire, malicious damage or natural disaster and was incapable of being occupied as a residence.
    • Renovation – the property was undergoing substantial renovations and was incapable of being occupied as a residence
    • Damage – the property was damaged, unsafe or otherwise unsuitable to be occupied as a residence
    • Medical – you or your tenant is receiving long-term, in-patient, medical or residential care
    • Legal restrictions involving  
      • occupancy prohibited or legally restricted by order of a court, tribunal or a law of the Commonwealth, a state or a territory
      • conditions in your foreign investment approval decision letter prohibiting residential occupancy.
       

    For definitions of the following terms refer to Vacancy fee for foreign owners - About the vacancy fee.

    • Vacancy year
    • Occupation day
    • Residentially occupied

    Declaration

    Before you submit your vacancy fee return, make sure you have answered all relevant questions correctly and have read the declaration. An incomplete return may delay processing and you may be asked to complete and submit a new return.

    Penalties may be imposed for giving false or misleading information.

    Step 5: Confirmation

    Once you have submitted the annual vacancy fee form and completed the declaration, a confirmation will appear advising if you are liable to pay an annual vacancy fee.

    • If you are not liable to pay an annual vacancy fee you will see a confirmation advising that you are not liable for a fee for the current vacancy year. The confirmation will contain details of declaration reference number, Land registration number and address details.
      • This confirmation is an update to your vacancy year details, it is not an annual vacancy fee return.
       
    • If you are liable to pay an annual vacancy fee you will see a confirmation containing details of declaration reference number, land registration number and address details.
      • The confirmation will also contain details of the calculated fee you need to pay, a payment reference number to use when paying your annual vacancy fee and options for payment of the annual vacancy fee. We will send a follow up notice via email advising you of the fee liable for the vacancy year within a few days.
       

    If you don’t see the confirmation that contains your declaration reference number, land registration number and address details within a few minutes of submitting your return, check our Troubleshooting guide for assistance. If you are unsure if your return was lodged or incorrectly lodged, contact us.

    We recommend you print or save the return for future reference. Click the Print friendly version button to print or save the registration details.

    It is also advisable to save the reference number from the confirmation page as proof of lodgment. Your reference number will also help us to assist you with any enquiries you may have regarding your lodgment in the future.

    Paying your vacancy fee

    When you lodge your vacancy fee return, the confirmation page will indicate if you are liable for a vacancy fee and the amount you need to pay.

    You will also receive a notice of liability of the vacancy fee payable via email after you have lodged.

    The notice will provide you with information on the reason the fee is being charged, the fee payable, payment details and the due date.

    To make a payment, go to how to pay. This information applies to individuals and businesses.

    Troubleshooting

    If you are experiencing issues lodging your return it may be due to one of the following reasons.

    Troubleshooting errors and solutions

    Error

    Solution

    Pages not displaying properly

    Try using another browser.

    Some users have reported using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome has resolved their issue.

    The screen is blank or fails to load

    If you are using ad blocker software, make sure this is turned off or disabled.

    For the most common browsers:

    • Open the Menu or Tools from the Toolbar
    • Select Add-ons
    • Select Extensions
    • Search for content blockers and either disable or remove the add-on.

    Try using a different device.

    Form will not progress to next page

    Make sure you have added all the mandatory information in the correct format.

    You will see a red outline around incorrect information

    Check that you have entered dates in the correct order, dd/mm/yyyy.

    Refer to the on-screen help guide for examples.

    Declaration will not submit when clicked or submit button is greyed out

    Make sure you have selected both the:

    • declaration statement
    • captcha box.
     

    Contact us

    If you are unable to resolve the issue from the list, phone us on:

    • 1800 050 377 (within Australia)
    • +61 2 6216 1111 (from outside Australia).

    If you require language assistance, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on:

    • 13 14 50 (within Australia)
    • +61 3 9268 8332 (from outside Australia).
    Last modified: 26 Sep 2019QC 56144