Compliance activities

We carry out compliance activities—including audits and investigations—to ensure that taxpayers 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.

Ultimately, we want to help you (Queensland taxpayers and your advisers) to understand your rights and obligations, and we encourage and support voluntary compliance. For example, we’ll send email and text messages to remind you of your obligations if you receive a concession or grant.

Our focus for 2022–23

Our compliance focus areas highlight key obligations you need to be aware of.

Transfer duty—home, first home and first home vacant land concessions

To help you keep your concession, we’ll send email and text messages to remind you of your obligations.

Our compliance focus will be on:

  • ensuring you met the timeframes required with your duty concessions (i.e. move in within 6 months of purchase date and live in the property for the mandatory time)
  • checking you didn’t dispose of the property before time (e.g. sell or rent part or all the property).

Learn more about home concessions.

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.

Home owner grants

Our compliance focus will be on:

  • checking you comply with residency and other requirements
  • ensuring approved agents who process first home owner grant applications
    • keep full and correct records
    • enter data into the online system correctly.

Find out about the first home owner, regional home building boost and HomeBuilder grants.

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.

Payroll tax

To help you get started, we’ll contact you to remind you that you might need to register with us for payroll tax in Queensland.

Our compliance focus will be on the following areas.

  • Registrations:
    • not registering
    • registering at the right time (when you reach the threshold)
  • Lodgements:
    • late periodic and annual returns
    • not lodging a final return for a change of status
  • Taxable wages:
    • incorrect calculations when determining if you need to register
    • incorrectly reporting in returns
  • Groups of businesses
  • Contractor payments and exemptions

Find out more about payroll tax obligations.

Land tax

Our compliance focus will be on the following areas.

  • Home exemptions—ensuring current exemption is still applicable
  • Primary production exemption—ensuring exemption is still applicable
  • Subdivider discount for land held by developers—to confirm obligations are met
  • Absentees—ensuring we have correctly identified your status and land tax liability
  • Foreign companies and foreign trusts—ensuring we have correctly identified your status and land tax liability
  • Trust arrangements—ensuring liability is aggregated when the taxpayer is a trustee of more than one trust and the interests of the beneficiaries of 2 or more trusts are the same

Learn about land tax.

Mining and petroleum royalty

Our compliance focus will be on lodgements.

  • Late quarterly and annual returns
  • Using correct rates, average sales prices and commercial values
  • Accuracy of final adjustments
  •  Deductions
  • Export and domestic sales

Read more about complying with royalty obligations.

Transfer duty—self assessors (conveyancers and other solicitors)

Our focus will be on ensuring that you, as self assessors:

  • use the correct dutiable value, including GST where appropriate
  • verify your clients are eligible for concessions or exemptions claimed
  • keep records (e.g. completed and signed concession forms, related party valuations, statutory declarations)
  • manage trust account funds appropriately
  • confirm client funds are received before stamping, in order for settlement to occur.

Read more about self assessor obligations.

Insurance duty

Our focus will be on ensuring you, as self assessors:

  • classify insurance products as general, life or accident insurance
  • calculate the dutiable value for the policy (including GST)
  • apply the rate of duty to the insurance policy.

Learn about insurance duty.

Vehicle registration duty

Our focus will be on ensuring:

  • the value of vehicles is reported correctly (and not undervalued to reduce duty)
  • dealerships comply with accurate reporting requirements.

Find out more about vehicle registration duty.

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 taxpayers in accordance with the law. It applies to all compliance activities that we conduct.

Last updated: 26 September 2022