It is thought that this tax levy originated from Spain in the 17th century before starting to spread throughout the rest of Europe. Stamp duty is a tax that is levied on documents, not actually the house itself, a physical stamp is attached to or impressed upon the document to donate that the stamp duty had been paid before it became legally effective.
Throughout Australia the stamp duties are levied by the various states and not the federal government, because of this the rates vary from state to state as do the nature of instruments which require the levy. It is common for people to have to spend more in one state than the other when it comes to stamp duty and this often sparks the debate over whether stamp duty can be justified or if it’s just a money spinning government scheme.
As mentioned above stamp duty can relate to all sorts of purchases; however the largest payments are normally those which relate to a piece of real estate. Normally you will be a percentage of the total purchase, calculating your stamp duty is easy and can be done using a stamp duty calculator or simply studying the rates in your respective state.
All in all stamp duty is another associated cost which you should be prepared for and know you have to pay it, if you are caught off guard it can be quite a sting.