Foreign Buyer Duty
Navigating the expectations of buyers in understanding their requirement to remit foreign buyer duty is inevitable. The declaration must be made by the buyer and it is strongly advised that you do not assist buyers in making any determination on their behalf where there is any doubt.
Foreign individuals are classified as an individual who is not an Australian citizen, or does not hold a permanent or special category visa. In other words, if you are either (i) Australian citizen; (ii) Australian permanent visa holder; or (iii) a special category visa holder – you are not foreign.
Confusion can occur when dealing with New Zealanders who benefit from close ties to Australia. OSR have noted that:
Provided a New Zealand citizen has a valid special category visa when they acquire the property, they will not be liable to pay foreign transfer duty. If the visa lapses, is cancelled or revoked for any reason prior to settlement, they would need to notify OSR.
It is recommend you advise your clients, where doubt exists, to submit a web enquiry or contact OSR on 9262 1100.
To find out more refer buyers to the Visa Holder Enquiry tool for visa enquiries hosted by the Department of Home Affairs.
Source: 23rd January 2019 AICWA e-Newsletter
On 1 January 2019, foreign transfer duty and foreign landholder duty came into effect by amending the Duties Act 2008. The additional 7% duty applies to acquisitions of residential property where the buyer or transferee are foreign persons, including foreign companies and trusts.
What does this mean to you?
Every buyer or transferee that acquires or purchases land in Western Australia is now required to complete and lodge a Foreign Transfer Duty Declaration Form within two months of executing the dutiable transaction.
cimWell if you haven't already done so;
We usually send our clients ALL the required 'wet-ink' paperwork with our initial postal package. Sometimes we need to allow for the other party to complete certain forms first, so thanks for your patience and understanding if you receive more than one form requiring 'wet-ink' execution.
That Loan Amount on the Unconditional/Formal approval is usually NOT the exact amount your lender will make Available as Funds (aka funds your lender will bring) for Settlement.
The Lender will usually take their fees and costs out of that approved Loan Amount this effectively reduces the Available Funds at settlement. Which may mean that the Buyer might have a 'Client contribution', or 'Funds to complete', or sometimes misnamed as additional 'Deposit' (Deposit as defined under your contract is to be held by the Deposit Stakeholder).
So if there is a 'Client Contribution', then best become aware of the expected difference on the required balance you will need Contribute towards settlement.
We often are not advised of the exact amount the lender will bring to Settlement, till much closer to settlement -often not till morning of settleemnt. However your broker/banker who setup the loan would have the best idea of that amount, and will have usually calculated to some best efforts the amount you will need to contribute. So the next query;
However some lenders / circumstances will not cater for that, in which case our trust account for your contribution is the only other way, these deposits normally take the banks upto three (3) business days to clear those funds. There is a quicker process referred to as Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) which allows for funds to be cleared usually by same or at least next business day- if beating for the transferring bank cut-off.
Attend to conditions especially before any expire. ie Termite or Building Inspections, due diligence clause, etc.. and confirm with both the Real Estate Agent and also A1 Conveyancing, once done.
Sellers; Make Sure that your Discharge Authority has been completed and A1 Conveyancing have been sent a copy.
Complete and obligations under your contract and confirm with both the Real Estate Agent and also A1 Conveyancing, once done.
Foreign Buyers Duty
For transactions executed on or after 1 January 2019, an additional 7% duty will be chargeable on the dutiable value of certain acquisitions of residential property by foreign buyers.
Each person acquiring land in Western Australia must complete a foreign buyers declaration form HERE declaring whether they are a foreign person.
The Online Duties system will be modified to allow self-assessment of most dutiable transactions that are chargeable with foreign buyers duty.
For the purposes of the foreign buyers duty, residential property is –
1. land in Western Australia that is, or is capable of being, or is intended to be, used solely or dominantly for residential purposes;
2. vacant or substantially vacant land that is zone solely for residential purposes; or
3. any estate of interest in land described in (1) or (2).
A foreign person includes a foreign individual, corporation or trust.
See the foreign transfer duty HERE and foreign landholder duty fact sheets HERE for information about foreign persons and residential property.
Exemptions or nominal transfer duty
Most dutiable transactions that would be eligible for nominal duty or an exemption from transfer duty will also be exempt from foreign buyers duty. This includes certain transactions involving family court orders and matrimonial agreements, deceased estate transactions and partitions of residential property.
Face-to-face customer education sessions commenced in December 2018. Visit our OSR's education page to register now for upcoming sessions HERE.
Foreign buyer duty publications, frequently asked questions and other support material is available HERE
For more information on foreign buyers duty, see the legislation available on the Western Australian Parliament website HERE
Watch the Video HERE
Source: 19th December 2018 AICWA e-Newsletter
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