Primarius Blog - Inheritance tax /death duties in Australia

Muriel Oliver
Update | 16 May 2023

Currently, in Australia, there are no inheritance tax or death duties payable on the death of an individual. There will most likely be tax consequences when properties, shares, or other assets are sold but there is no automatic assessment of the estate at the time of the death, or when passed onto the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are taxed on rent or dividends received in the normal way.

In countries like the UK and USA death duties can be as high as 40% and kick in went the estate is valued at $2M or more. This is why the mega-rich in the USA donate artworks and other assets during their lifetime to avoid this becoming an issue upon their death.  In the UK many ancestral homes struggle to survive paying the inheritance duties and still maintain the stately home they have inherited, once again the reason that we see so many TV shows on how they try to turn it into a business to manage these costs.

We did have an inheritance tax system in Australia, however, it was abolished in 1982.  I met someone when we first came to Australia in 1994 who told me that they had to sell the family farm to pay the death duties, so understandably it was very unpopular. The Henry Review gave bequest or inheritance tax the "thumbs up" but according to Treasury was dropped due to its controversial history.

Read more here - inheritance tax in Australia

Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not an opinion expressed by us. So, before acting on this or any other information, it is important to seek professional advice related directly to you and your circumstances.  Should you require our assistance, contact your Primarius Team leader, or email us at


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