We've changed our name: the Office of State Revenue is now Queensland Revenue Office

Compliance activities

We carry out compliance activities—including audits and investigations—to ensure that our clients pay the right amount of tax, duty or royalty, and that nobody receives money they’re not entitled to.

The information we collect comes from various sources, and our compliance activities identify people or organisations who are not meeting their obligations. Some of our collection methods include data matching, referrals from other agencies and random sampling.

We also receive information from the community about tax avoidance and fraudulent activity. If you know of someone doing the wrong thing, you can report it anonymously.

Compliance and you

If you do the wrong thing, unpaid tax interest and penalties may apply. We can also take firmer action by applying the full force of the law for those abusing the system.

It’s best to pay your tax liability on time or repay money before we take action. An early voluntary disclosure generally results in a better financial outcome for you.

If you are selected for a compliance activity, you will receive a call, letter or email from a QRO officer. The communication will clearly state what you need to do and when you need to do it by. If you are required to attend an interview, we will contact you to arrange a time and place.

Our investigators may need to visit your premises as part of an investigation. If so, they have the authority to:

  • enter public places and places of business during their normal opening hours
  • enter residential premises with consent (or a warrant)
  • inspect, copy and seize documents and things.

After an audit or investigation, we will provide you with:

  • an explanation of our findings, including reassessments
  • the reason for penalties and interest (if these apply).

You have a statutory right to:

  • expect your affairs to be treated confidentially
  • seek a review of assessments and or decisions.

Our client charter promotes an open and fair relationship with our clients in accordance with the law. It applies to all compliance activities that we conduct.

Home concessions and grants

If you bought or built a home, you may have applied for a:

Although the requirements of the concessions and grants are similar, there are important differences in your obligations. You need to make sure you know and comply with your obligations if you want to avoid paying back transfer duty and grants, interest and penalties.

If you haven’t met or know you won’t meet your obligations, you need to notify us.

Example—First home owner grant

On 28 February, Julie settled on her new home. Because it was her first home, she had applied for the first home owner grant through her bank and received $15,000.

Julie moved into her home on 5 March, but sold it 3 months later to move closer to her elderly mother. She did not advise us that she had sold the home.

Because Julie did not meet the residence requirement (i.e. she did not live in the home for a continuous period of 6 months), she was required to repay the grant and a penalty amount.

Example—HomeBuilder grant

Sarah entered into a contract to build a new home on 16 November 2020 and received the $25,000 HomeBuilder grant after the foundations were laid. Sarah did not move into her new home until 4 months after the contract was completed.

Because Sarah did not meet the residence requirement (i.e. she did not move into the home upon completion of the contract), she was required to repay the grant.

Example—Regional home building boost grant

On 5 March, Aiko finished building her new home in regional Queensland. She had applied for the regional home building boost grant and received $5,000.

Aiko moved into her home on 8 April, but 4 months later rented the home and relocated interstate for a job opportunity. Aiko did not tell us that she had rented the home.

Because Aiko did not live in the home for a continuous period of 6 months, she was required to repay the grant and a penalty amount.

Example—Duty concession

George signed a contract on 1 September to buy a home in Queensland. He applied for the transfer duty home concession and paid duty at the reduced rate.

George moved into the property soon after settlement. Seven months after he moved in, George accepted a transfer to work in another state. As he could no longer live in the property, he decided to rent it out. He notified us within 28 days that he no longer met the eligibility requirements for the home concession.

George had to pay back some transfer duty and interest, but he avoided penalty tax because he notified us in time.

Example—Duty concession and grant

Jack signed a contract on 1 March to buy a new home. The contract settled on 2 April and he moved in straight away.

Jack got the first home transfer duty concession and paid no duty. He also got the $15,000 first home owner grant.

To help with expenses, Jack rented the second bedroom to a friend.

This situation affected his eligibility for the first home concession, but not the grant.

  • For the grant, renting the room did not affect his use of the home.
  • For the concession, renting the room meant that he had disposed of part of his property. He was no longer eligible for the concession.

Jack did not understand his obligations and failed to notify us. He had to pay transfer duty, unpaid tax interest and penalty tax.

Last updated: 14 April 2022