Victorian land tax absentee owner surcharge and new Vacant Residential Land Tax

If you or any of your clients own Victorian land and either the land tax absentee owner surcharge and/or the new Vacant Residential Land Tax taxes apply, you or your clients will need to notify the State Revenue Office of Victoria (SRO) by 15 January 2018 through the SRO’s online portal.

Victorian land tax absentee owner surcharge

The absentee owner surcharge will apply to Victorian land for a land tax year if you or your client were an “absentee owner” (a natural person absentee, absentee corporation or absentee trust) at 31 December of the preceding year. The absentee owner surcharge for the 2018 land tax year is 1.5 per cent of the land’s capital unimproved value, or “site value”, in addition to the general and trust surcharge rates of land tax.

New Vacant Residential Land Tax

The Vacant Residential Land Tax (VRLT) is a new, annual tax calculated on 1 per cent of the capital improved value of taxable land.  This is different to land tax and the absentee owner surcharge.

The VRLT applies to homes in inner and middle Melbourne that were vacant for more than six months in the preceding calendar year, unless an exemption applies.

To assist with the transition to the VRLT, all properties are deemed to have been occupied for the period between 1 January and 30 April 2017. This means that a property should not be liable to the VRLT in 2018 if the owner or a permitted occupant has occupied the property for at least 2 months between 1 May and 31 December 2017.

If you have any queries in relation to the above taxes or how they may impact you or your clients, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Emma Woolley

Partner & Head of Family Office Advisory

Karl Rozenbergs

Partner & Co-Lead, Health & Community

Ben Hamilton

Partner & Technology and Digital Economy Co-Lead

James Deady

Partner & Technology and Digital Economy Co-Lead

Eugene Chen

Partner & Head of China Practice

Oliver Jankowsky

Partner & Head of International Desks

John Bassilios

Partner & Fintech and Blockchain Lead

Matthew Curll

Partner & Insurance National Practice Leader

Melanie Smith

Director – Business Development, Marketing and Communications

Natalie Bannister

Partner & Commercial National Practice Leader

Nathan Kennedy

Partner, Head of Pro Bono & Community and ESG Co-Lead

Mark Dessi

Partner & Energy Co-Lead

Katie McKenzie

Director – People & Culture

James Bull

Special Counsel & Frank Lab Co-Lead

Melanie James

People & Culture Manager

Jacqui Barrett

Partner & Head of US Desk

Lauren Parrant

Senior People & Culture Advisor

Melinda Woledge

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jasmine Koh

Senior Associate & Frank Lab Co-Lead

Alison Choy Flannigan

Partner & Co-Lead, Health & Community

Jordon Lee


Geoff Benson


Meg Lee

Partner & ESG Co-Lead

John Gray

Partner, Technology & Digital Economy Co-Lead and NSW Government Co-Lead

Harvey Duckett


Luke Denham


Billie Kerkez

Manager – Smarter Recovery Solutions

Jemima Whiteman


Bradley White


Sarah Khan


Audrey Leahy

Special Counsel & Head of Irish Desk

Marie Mitilineos


Gloria Tam


Peter Jones

Senior Commercial Counsel

Eden Winokur

Partner & Head of Cyber

Sheldon Fu


Tamara Charlwood


James Pavlidis


Claire Bourke


Chloe Taylor


Silvana Brcina


Daphne Schilizzi


Andrew Banks


Isabella Urso


Jessica Liu


Amelia Spratt


Lisa Ziegert

Director – Client Solutions

David Cooper

Partner & Energy Co-Lead

Luke Raams


Emma McDonald


Carl Ayers


Maddison Reznik

Senior Associate & Trade Marks Attorney

Rebecca Dodd


Gretel Burns