Long Service Levy

What is the long service levy?

The NSW Government charges a levy on all building and construction works of $25,000 or more. This rate will change on 1 January 2023 to $250,000.

The levy is paid into a fund administered by the Long Service Corporation (LSC). This fund pays long service to eligible building and construction workers.

Who pays the levy?

The levy is paid by the applicant of the building approval or the person the work is being completed for. A contractor generally pays the levy if building work is done on behalf of the Crown.

The levy applies to building work including:

  • civil construction such as roads and bridges
  • fuel, gas and water storage facilities
  • residential building
  • sewage, drainage and water treatment systems
  • telecommunications and electrical distribution infrastructure.

The Building and Construction Industry Long Service Payments Act 1986 and Local Government Act define the types of building and construction work the levy applies to.

LSC conducts regular checks on payment of the long service levy. Failure to pay the correct levy before construction starts may result in fines, penalties or prosecution. You may be asked to supply supporting documentation.

Cost of the levy

Changes to the long service levy from 1 January 2023:

  • Building and construction industry (BCI) levy exemption threshold increases to $250,000 (including GST). This reduces how many people pay a levy for minor works.
  • BCI levy will reduce to 0.25% of the cost of works (including GST).

The new levy rate applies to you if your construction commencement date is on or after 1 January 2023, even if you’re applying to pay your levy now.

Until 31 December 2022, the levy rate is 0.35% of the cost of building and construction works of $25,000 and or more (including GST).

Use the levy calculator to check how much you will need to pay if works begin before 31 December 2022. If building begins on or after 1 January 2023 the new levy rate applies to you.

Exemptions are available in some circumstances.

Instalments are available for projects with a cost of works of $10 million or more and which will take more than 12 months to build.

The levy is calculated as a percentage of the cost of building work. This is determined by council, an accredited certifier or a relevant government authority.

 

Pay the levy

Building work can only start after the levy is paid. Council or accredited certifier can only release your Construction Certificate (CC) or Complying Development Certificate (CDC) after you pay the levy.

For more information about how to pay the levy, visit the Long Service Corporation website.

Owner-builders

Owner-builders holding an Owner Builder Permit issued by NSW Fair Trading may be entitled to a reduction in the levy.

For more information, visit the Long Service Corporation website.