Surcharge Sting Adds New Obstacle for Foreign Investors

New foreign investment taxes came into effect in Queensland this month. The tax (or duty to be specific) is a surcharge which is added onto any stamp duty payable when a foreigner (non-resident) purchases property in Queensland. The surcharge is calculated on the contracted price for the property.

In Queensland the surcharge is 3%, and is calculated as follows:


Stamp duty is charged on any transfer of ownership of car, real estate, or other assets. The price of the goods being transferred and the state the purchase takes place can change the rate of the stamp duty, as each state imposes the tax at their own specific rate. The duty goes to the relevant state government in which the property physically exists.

Despite the introduction of the surcharge, Queensland will still remain the most affordable state on the east coast, and have the lowest surcharge amongst Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The surcharge now applies to all non-Australian and non-NZ buyers.



State of Place – A Comparison of Australia’s Largest Apartment Markets


Written: 12 October 2016, Updated: 15 January 2020

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