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So you may have received a notice from the NSW Government that they would like to investigate your property’s value – now what?

Receiving a Land Tax Notice of Investigation can be a concerning experience for landowners, but do not fret.

This notice indicates that Revenue NSW is investigating the value of your landholdings.

The Valuer General oversees the valuation system, where over 2.6 million parcels of land are valued as of 1 July each year.

Councils use land values for calculating and distributing rates and Revenue NSW for calculating your land tax liability.

This article will guide landowners on what to know and the steps to take when faced with a Land Tax Notice of Investigation.

The Investigation Process:

1. Notification of Investigation:

Landowners typically receive a formal notice from Revenue NSW informing them of the investigation. This notice outlines the purpose of the investigation and may request additional information or documentation.

Beware of scams, ensure there is no request for payment and check your MyServiceNSW Account for communications from the department—more information about accessing your account is below.

2. Understanding the Scope of the Investigation:

The investigation aims to assess the accuracy of the land values declared by the landowner for the purpose of land tax. Revenue NSW may examine various factors, such as recent property sales, land improvements, and land use changes.

3. Providing Information and Documentation:

Landowners must cooperate with the investigation by providing accurate and relevant information. This may include property valuations, details of recent sales, and any improvements made to the land.

The Valuer General sends you a Notice of Valuation when your council receives new values. This happens at least every three years and allows you to consider your land value before the council sets your rates.

4. Engaging with Valuers:

Revenue NSW may engage independent valuers to assess the value of the land. Landowners may be asked to facilitate access to their properties for inspection by these valuers.

Under the Valuation of Land Act 1916, land value is the value of your land only. It does not include the value of your home or other structures and improvements. However, it includes land improvements like draining, excavating, filling, clearing and retaining walls.

5. Land Tax Adjustment or Refund:

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, Revenue NSW may adjust the land tax payable. If the investigation reveals that the declared land values were inaccurate, landowners may be required to pay additional land tax. Conversely, landowners may be eligible for a refund if the declared values exceed actual values.

Suppose you disagree with the proposed land value presented by Revenue NSW. In that case, you may submit an objection within 60 days from the date of issue on the valuation notice: section 35 Valuation of Land Act 1916 (NSW).

Depending on how you own and use your land, you may be eligible for a land tax exemption. Exemptions that may apply include:

  • Principal place of residence
  • Primary production land
  • Residential and caravan parks
  • Childcare centres

Find out more about exemptions on the Revenue NSW website.

Steps for Landowners Facing a Land Tax Notice of Investigation:

1. Review the Notice:

Carefully read Revenue NSW’s notice to understand the investigation’s specific reasons and any documents or information requested.

2. Gather Documentation:

Collect all relevant documents, including property valuations, recent sales information, and details of any improvements made to the land. Ensure that the information provided is accurate and up-to-date.

3. Consult Professionals:

If you have concerns or uncertainties about the investigation, consider seeking advice from professionals such as tax consultants or legal experts who specialise in land tax matters, such as AFP Accounting.

4. Cooperate with the Investigation:

Respond promptly to Revenue NSW’s requests for information. Cooperating fully with the investigation ensures a fair and accurate assessment.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Access your MyServiceNSW Account or create an account if you don’t already have one.
  • On the Service NSW website, select ‘Manage online’.
  • Select ‘Land tax’ from your MyServices page. If you need to add the land tax service to your MyServiceNSW Account, see How to add services to your MyServiceNSW Account.
  • Enter your Client ID and Correspondence ID, then select ‘Continue’. These can be found in any recent piece of correspondence from Revenue NSW.
  • Respond to a notice of investigation.
  • Select ‘Update land tax details’.
  • Select ‘Lodging a return’ or ‘Update details’.
  • Update your personal and property ownership information. Note: This includes applying for exemptions or concessions on the ‘Land you own’ page. Read more about exemptions and concessions.
  • Upload all supporting documents.
  • Review changes and select ‘Submit’.

5. Attend Valuation Inspections:

If valuers are engaged to inspect your property, make arrangements to allow them access. Providing accurate information during these inspections can contribute to a fair valuation.

6. Review and Appeal:

After completing the investigation, carefully review the findings. You may have the right to appeal the decision if you disagree with the outcome. Consult with professionals to understand the grounds for appeal and the necessary steps.

A Land Value Investigation Does Not Have To Be a Headache

Facing a Land Tax Notice of Investigation in NSW can be complex, but understanding the steps involved and cooperating with Revenue NSW can help landowners navigate the situation.

By actively participating in the investigation process, landowners contribute to the fairness and integrity of the land tax system in New South Wales.

Seek professional advice and ensure all information is accurate and complete.

AFP Accounting and Business Advisory would love to ensure you have the information you need for a painless land tax investigation and valuation. Contact us by emailing enquiries@afpaccounting.com.au or call (02) 7804 1849.

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