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Commercial Law – Taxing Times for foreign owners

By Natalie Gosper, a Solicitor in our Commercial Law team.

In 2016 and continuing in early 2017, we saw many changes to legislation affecting both vendors and purchasers of property. These changes largely came about due to the new Commonwealth Reporting Requirements (CRR).

The CRR places requirements on States and Territories to report transfers of freehold or leasehold interests in land.  The information collected is used for data matching by the ATO to ensure compliance with Commonwealth tax laws and for the establishment of the National Register of Foreign Ownership of Land Titles.

For NSW property transactions, purchasers comply with the CRR by completing a Purchaser/Transferee Declaration.   The form, required by OSR, must be completed for every property transaction requiring a stamp duty notation (including Transfers of Land and Surrenders or Transfers of Leases).

Some of the recent legislative changes affecting foreign owners include:

NSW Land Tax surcharge

A land tax surcharge of 0.75% (i.e. over and above the usual rate of land tax) applies to foreign owners of residential real estate commencing in the 2017 land tax year.
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