Payment of building permit levy for building permit applications accepted on or after 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019, an applicant for a building permit, or a person acting on behalf of the applicant, is responsible for paying the building permit levy before a building permit is issued. The person paying the VBA could be the applicant, the building surveyor or any other person that has been nominated to pay the levy by the applicant. If the building surveyor is paying, they can collect the levy from the applicant as part of their fees.

Where the applicant or person paying on behalf of the applicant is paying the building permit levy directly to the VBA, they will be issued with an invoice via the email address that they have supplied to the relevant building surveyor. The building permit levy can be paid via BPAY or credit/debit card.

The building permit levy is not payable if the cost of building work is $10,000 or less.

Where the cost of the building work is greater than $10,000, the Building Act 1993 requires a building permit levy of 0.128 cents in every dollar of the cost of building work, comprising of:

  • 0.064 cents to fund the building control system in Victoria.
  • 0.064 cents to fund the dispute resolution service, Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria.

Application of the building permit levy

A building permit levy is payable before a building permit number and a building permit are issued. This includes where:

  • a new building permit is issued to replace a lapsed building permit. Under the Building Act 1993, a replacement building permit is regarded as a new permit. As such, the balance of the cost of building work to be completed should be included on the building permit and the appropriate levy paid.
  • a new building permit is issued due to substantial changes in the nature and type of building work on the original building permit
  • a building permit is amended and results in a change to the cost of building work. The balance of the cost of building work to be completed should be included on the building permit amendment application and the appropriate levy paid.
  • a building permit is issued for building work that may not normally require a building permit.

Levy calculation and rounding policy

Building surveyors may adopt a commercially realistic approach in the calculation of the building permit levy. The following rounding policy has been developed as the preferred rounding practice for all building surveyors.

The calculation of the building permit levy payable may be rounded as follows:

Final cent figure is 1, 2, 3 or 4
Round down to 0.
Example: $201.83 is rounded to $201.80

Final cent figure is 6, 7, 8 or 9
Round down to 5.
Example: $158.98 is rounded to $158.95

Reimbursement (refund) of building permit levy for building permits issued prior to 1 July 2019

A reimbursement of the building permit levy is allowable only in circumstances where the levy was paid prior to the issue of the permit and the application for a building permit is withdrawn prior to the issue of the building permit.

Note: In the following circumstances, the building permit levy is payable and no reimbursement is applicable:

  • building work does not proceed
  • building work is partially completed
  • building permit lapses; and
  • building permit is cancelled.

From 1 July 2019, a reimbursement of the building permit levy may be allowed in limited circumstances in the period between the issue of a building permit number and the issue of the building permit to address administrative errors and situations where the RBS does not intend on issuing a building permit.