Authority Updates - National - June 2016

National Register of Foreign Ownership of Land Titles Introduced from 1 July 2016

On 16 October 2015, All Australian Treasurers, with the exception of the Treasurer of the Northern Territory agreed to establish a National Register of Foreign Ownership of Land Titles.

The register would build on the Commonwealth's existing National Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land. 

Commonwealth and State agencies will benefit from having more comprehensive data to improve compliance, including better enforcement of State laws in areas such as land tax, first home owner benefits, and improved compliance with goods and services tax and capital gains tax laws. The bill proposes to expand on the information collected at the time of property transactions.

To collect the new data, Office State Revenue (OSR) and their clients' IT systems will require modification, including, for example, online forms. Information that is collected will be subject to the same privacy protections as other data collected by OSR for tax administration purposes.

Also under new sub-division 14D, of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), where the market value of the property is $2 million or more and even if the vendor is not a foreign resident, the purchaser is obliged to comply with a foreign resident capital gains withholding payment obligation. If the vendor does not supply a clearance certificate prior to settlement, the purchaser is required to withhold 10% of the price at settlement and remit this to the Australian Taxation Office.

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Disclaimer: The information herein has been prepared by SAI Global Property Division Pty Ltd  ACN 089 586 872 from information released by the Authority cited on this page. It is provided as general background information only; it is not complete; and it does not comprehensively address this subject matter. Readers should not consider the information so provided as advice nor as a recommendation to take any particular course of action. Persons needing advice should consult their own solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser.