Your guide to the First Home Owner Grant in Tasmania

Your guide to the First Home Owner Grant in Tasmania

Despite all the jokes made by mainlanders, the beautiful-yet-isolated state of Tasmania is still part of Australia. This means that when the Howard government introduced the First Home Owners Grant in 2000, it applied to Tassie homes, too!

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) initiative was introduced by the Australian government on 1 July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership. Now, it exists to make it easier for first-time buyers to break into the property market.

With the FHOG grant limit set to revert back from $20,000 to $10,000 in July 2020, there’s no better time than now to buy in Tasmania. But before you dive in, it’s wise to make sure you’re up to speed with all the requirements. Read on for your in-depth guide to the First Home Owners Grant in TAS.


How much is First Home Owners Grant in Tasmania?

Currently, the Tasmanian government provides a one-off payment of $20,000 for eligible first home buyers and builders (including off-the-plan purchases) However, the grant amount is set to be reduced next year (as covered in the next section) Unlike many other states, there are no restrictions around property values to claim the FHOG in TAS.

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Is the First Home Owners Grant still available in Tasmania?

Yes, the First Home Owners Grant is still available in Tasmania. However, it’s set to change considerably in 2020. In the 2018-19 State Budget, the Tasmanian government announced that eligible First Home Owner Grants would be increased from $10,000 to $20,000 for eligible purchases made up to  30 June 2019. This was recently extended for one additional year as part of the 2019-20 State Budget, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. However, this is subject to passage through parliament, so be sure to check the State Revenue Office website for any updates before you apply.

Do first home buyers pay stamp duty in Tasmania?

Unfortunately, applicants for the First Home Owners Grant are not eligible for any stamp duty concessions. However, for established properties purchased between February 2018 and 30 June 2019, Tasmanian first home buyers are eligible for a 50% Stamp Duty reduction for properties valued up to $400,000. This allows them to save a maximum of $7000 in Stamp Duty costs.

Am I eligible for the First Home Owners grant in Tasmania?

To claim the FHOG, you must meet certain requirements. You can check your First Home Buyers Grant Tasmania eligibility below:
  • You must be a natural person – meaning, not a trust or company
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • You must not have owned a home (or have a spouse who has owned and occupied) for longer than six months after 1 July 2000
  • You must occupy the home as your primary residence (ie. where you sleep, eat and receive mail) for at least six months, within a year of taking ownership
  • The property must be located in Tasmania, meet local planning standards and be fixed to your land
  • You must be buying or building a new’ home, meaning it has no been occupied or sold as a place of residence. However, you may also be eligible if you buy a home that has been substantially renovated and has not been occupied or sold as a residential property since the renovations were completed

Eligibility for the $20,000 First Home Owner Grant in TAS

To claim the $20,000 AS FHOG payment, there are additional requirements you must meet:

If you are building your home through a registered builder, you must:

  • Sign a contract to construct your new home between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2019
  • Complete construction of your home within 24 months of entering into the contract

If you are building your own home, you must:

  • Start laying the foundations for your home between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2019
  • Complete the building of your home within 24 months of commencing the laying of foundations
  • If no foundations are being laid due to the nature of the building, you will need to contact the Commissioner of State Revenue to determine the commencement of building’ date

If you are purchasing an off-the-plan home, you must:

  • Sign the contract to buy the home between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2019
  • Complete the building of your home within 24 months of entering into the contract to purchase

How to apply for the First Home Buyers grant in Tasmania?

To claim the First Home Owners Grant in TAS, you must lodge an application form to the Office of State Revenue. The safest and simplest way to do this is through an approved agent, like your financial lender, a conveyancer or a solicitor. They will be able to submit the application and any necessary documentation on your behalf. You can also apply yourself directly via mail or at a Service Tasmania shop.

To ensure your application goes smoothly, you will need to make sure you send all the necessary supporting documents as well as your application form. This includes:

Proof of Identity

If you are applying through an approved agent: One form of documentation from category one, including Australian Passport, Australian birth certificate issued by Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages or Citizenship Certificate

If you are lodging with Service Tasmania: Each applicant and their spouse must provide a document from each of the four categories (four documents per person) This includes:

Category 1: Evidence of Australian citizenship

  • Australian passport
  • Australian birth certificate issued by Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages
  • Citizenship Certificate

Category 2: Linkage between identity and the person

  • Current passport
  • Current Australian Drivers Licence
  • Current Firearms Licence
  • TAS photo identification card

Category 3: Evidence of Australian residency

  • Medicare Card
  • Motor Vehicle Registration
  • Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs Card
  • Debit/credit card

Category 4: Evidence of residential address

  • Utility documents with proof of residential address (such as gas, electricity, telephone or water bills)
  • Insurance policy with current residential address
  • Statement of account

Evidence of eligible transaction

  • If you are buying an existing home: a signed copy of the sale contract
  • If you are building a property: a signed copy of the building contract
  • If you are the owner-builder: evidence that construction has commenced

Proof of settlement or completion of construction

Purchase of an existing home

  • Copy of the land title in the applicant’s name(s)
  • Signed Memorandum of Transfer
  • Confirmation from the approved agent that settlement has been completed

Contract to build a new home

  • Certificate/Permit of Completion or Occupancy

Owner builder

  • Certificate/Permit of Completion or Occupancy

How long does the First Home Owner grant TAS take to me processed?

The deadlines for applying for the First Home Owner grant TAS depend on the type of property and how you are applying.

The deadlines for applying for the First Home Owner grant TAS depend on the type of property and how you are applying.

If you are applying through an approved agent:

  • For an existing property: At settlement
  • For a contract to build: On the first progress payment (first draw down of the loan)
  • For an owner-builder: Once the certificate of occupancy/completion has been received

Your approved agent should be able to tell you when the funds will be available and they will be allocated in line with your agreement with them.

If you are applying directly to the Office of State Revenue yourself:

  • For an existing property: After settlement
  • For a contract to build or an owner builder: Once the certificate of occupancy/completion has been received

Generally, it takes around 14 days for a FHOG application to be processed and you or your approved agent will be advised of the outcome in writing. 

If you’re buying a new home or off the plan, you will receive payment on settlement of the property. If you have a home loan, this will be paid to your lender. If you’re purchasing through a registered builder, you will be paid after the foundations are laid if you’re financing the home or once finished if you’re not. If you’re building your own home, you’ll be paid when you receive an occupancy certificate upon proof of completion or proof of construction.

If you’re not buying a home in Tasmania, then you may be eligible for the First Home Buyer Grant in another state. Be sure to check out our other guides to the FHOG before you apply, as all states have different guidelines.

Looking to buy your first property in Tasmania? You may want to consider using one of eChoice’s experienced brokers to assist with your FHOG application and make the process as streamlined as possible. Plus, we also have access to hundreds of mortgage products, so we can help you find a competitive deal that best suits your needs.

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