Tax Tip: buy property in 1 name only not jointly Just considering personal purchasers for the moment, when two or more people are considering buying a property together it is worth considering whether to buy the property jointly or in just one name. There are many tax advantages in buying in 1 name as it allows for many different strategies. 1. Spousal Transfer Strategies Different states have different laws, but in some states it is possible for one spouse to purchase the property of the other spouse without paying stamp duty. The purchasing spouse can borrow to do this and the seller can use their money from the sale to pay down the non deductible debt. 2. Offset accounts and tax Often spouses have different incomes. So there can be advantages with keeping the family cash in one particular offset which is against a property. There would be no benefit if all the properties were jointly owned, but where there is no non deductible debt and a non working spouse this can save thousands in tax 3. Capital Gains Tax Sometimes a property needs to be sold, or wants to be sold as part of a strategy that is being implemented. Where all properties are in both names then both will receive any capital gains. But where the properties are in one name it is possible to minimise tax by selling the property owned by the spouse on the lower income - or no income when they are not working, such as on maternity leave. 4. After death tax savings 95% of people die (+-5%) so there is an opportunity to gift separately owned property tax effectively. e.g. you have a fully paid off property generating $40k in positive income and your spouse is on the top tax rate. If you die and the spouse takes the property (e.g. Joint Tenant) they will pay about $17k in tax per year. But if the property is left to the trustee of a testamentary discretionary trust there may be no tax at all if you have 2 or more children under 18. Even where you own a property as tenants in common your share could be left to a testamentary trust, but the effect would be more tax than if the whole property was left. Non tax related reasons: 5. Breakups Another reason is if you break up it will be easier to divide things up. Actually this could also save tax as borrowing to pay out a spouse is not deductible. 6. Increased serviceability Each of the spouses will only be liable for their own debts. No joint and several liability to borrow about where banks will assets each person on the whole debt and not just their half - while also only counting their half of the income. Naturally there are many legal consequences when only 1 of a couple own a property so seek legal advice before trying this.