Crackdown on foreign property ownership continues

October 2015

Foreign investors have until 30 November 2015 to voluntarily come forward if they have illegally purchased existing residential real estate.

Since transferring residential real estate compliance functions to the ATO in May, over 3,000 pieces of information relating to suspected breaches of foreign ownership have come to light via data matching with third party sources including the Foreign Investment Review Board, Immigration, AUSTRAC and state and territory land title offices – there are 481 cases under active investigation. 

All 5 of the latest illegally owned properties were voluntarily disclosed and range in value from $265,000 to $8.1m.  They now have 12 months to sell the properties, rather than the normal 3-month period, and will not be referred for criminal prosecution.

The crackdown on foreign ownership of residential real estate follows the announcement in 2012 that non-residents would no longer be eligible for CGT discounts when they sell their property. Download our Removing the CGT Discount factsheet for more information. 

The government has previously made it clear that voluntary disclosure is the best policy and their willingness to force sales has been shown in recent months. 

Contact us on 02 9957 4033 if you have any concerns related to your property investment structures. 

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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