Clearance certificates

Land tax

Important information relating to Land Tax Certificate Changes effective 1 July 2016.

Where a transfer of land is to occur under contract a vendor will now be required to apply for a Land Tax Clearance Certificate with OSR as per the requirements of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010.

An explanation for the information required for a vendor certificate can be found in the vendor certificate table.

For more information, read the Land Tax Certificate Changes factsheet.

A clearance certificate states whether there is any land tax owing on a property.

The clearance certificate protects a purchaser from any outstanding land tax liability by a previous owner. It does not provide any protection to the owner of the land.

The certificate may be issued as ‘clear' if :

  • the land is not liable or is exempt from land tax
  • the tax has been paid
  • the Chief Commissioner is satisfied payment of the tax is not at risk
  • the owner of the land failed to lodge a land tax return when it was due and the liability has not been detected when the certificate was issued.

When do I need a clearance certificate?

You need a clearance certificate when purchasing or selling a property or offering finance.

If you are selling a property you will need to apply for a certificate using the 'VENDOR' enquiry type.

If you are purchasing under contract the vendor will provide you with a certificate. If there is no contract you may apply for your own, using the 'PURCHASE' enquiry type. Mortgagees should use 'REFINANCE' and lessees should use 'LEASE' enquiry type.

How do I apply for a clearance certificate?

You can apply for a clearance certificate through any of the following Client Service Providers (CSP):

When applying for a certificate you will need to select the 'Enquiry Type' and provide information relating to:

  • Property details - including land title information, property address and other descriptions of the land to be transferred.
  • Expected settlement date.

If your enquiry type is 'VENDOR' you will also need to provide information for each vendor relating to:

  • Identity details of the vendor including name and date of birth for individuals and, name, address and company identifiers for companies.
  • Foreign identity details as shown on the Commonwealth reporting reference table.

Is there a cost for a clearance certificate?

Prices are available from your CSP.

I own a number of strata lots, do I only need to apply for one certificate?

Three lots with the same owner and in the same strata plan will be processed under one certificate. If more than three lots are involved you will need to lodge more than one certificate.

Can I apply for an updated certificate?

You can apply for an updated certificate using our online Clearance certificate update service.

The service is available for all certificates issued in the past 13 months and will provide you with a copy of an existing certificate or an update of the existing certificate for the same tax year.

How do I clear a certificate?

To remove a charge from a certificate the outstanding tax must be paid. If you are the purchaser you will need to refer the certificate to the vendor to arrange clearance. If you are the vendor you should follow the instructions on the front of the certificate. If there are no instructions on the front of the certificate you will need to contact our call centre on 1300 139 816.

You should allow 10 working days to process a request.

For all payment options, visit the pay your land tax page.

Settlement rooms

You can also make a payment at one of the following settlement rooms:

In order to obtain a clearance at a settlement room you will need the following:

  • the land tax clearance certificate showing a charge - this may be a vendor or purchase copy
  • a current quote of an amount to clear the particular land item or a current land tax assessment including the land item (the due date for these items must not have passed)
  • a bank cheque for the clearance amount.

What do I need to use the service?

To use this service you will need the Certificate Enquiry ID and Correspondence ID that appear on the original certificate.

Online clearance certificate updates services

By using the online clearance certificate update service, you can:

  • print a copy of a clearance certificate
  • update and print a copy of your certificate once the land tax payment and/or return details have been processed by OSR.

To log in, you will need your:

  • Enquiry ID
  • Correspondence ID

Payments made to us through a financial institution, Australia Post or by credit card are generally processed overnight. Please ensure you have allowed sufficient time for the payment to be processed prior to requesting a new version of the clearance certificate.

If your certificate still shows a land tax charge after requesting a new version, contact us.

Terms and conditions

By accessing the clearance certificate update facility, I agree that I will not:

  • use the information for any purpose other than its intended use
  • knowingly contravene the provisions of any privacy legislation governing the use of information.

Last updated: 23 March 2017