There are no death duties in Australia, as Australia has abolished inheritance taxes for anyone who died after 30 June 1979, although Queensland had earlier abolished that tax in 1977.
However, tax may be payable on certain ‘income’ or ‘capital transactions’ that occur as a consequence of a person’s death.
When you inherit an asset as a beneficiary of the estate of a person who died on or after 20 September 1985, you must keep special records.
You will not need to keep records of the deceased’s costs if:
- you inherited the house after 20 August 1996
- the house was the deceased’s main residence just before they died, and
- the house was not being used to produce income at the time of their death.
In these circumstances, you will be taken to have acquired the house at its market value at the date of death.
More information on this should be checked at this link: Australian Tax Office
Further reading material on this subject:
- Managing the tax affairs of someone who has died Australian Tax Office
- Capital Gains Tax: cost base – UK inheritance tax Australian Tax Office
A UK source of information in Australia quotes the following:
There is no inheritance tax in Australia, but your estate may (see note 1) have to pay capital gains tax as if you had sold the property just before your death.
UK wills are recognised, but to avoid delays it is a good idea for non-residents to have a separate will in Australia, which states that it only applies to your Australian property.
Note: 1: If the asset was acquired by the deceased person before 20 September 1985, you need to know the market value of the asset at the date of the person’s death and any relevant costs incurred by the executor or trustee. This is the amount that the asset is taken to have cost you.