Residential Property - Annual Vacancy Fee For Foreign Owners

The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 has been amended by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Act 2017 to introduce an annual vacancy fee, levied on foreign owners of residential property that is not occupied or genuinely available on the rental market for at least six months of the year.

The change in law affects foreign buyers of residential property.

The fee will be based on the same amount as the FIRB application fee. For example, the fee for residential land where the price of the acquisition is between $2 million and less than $3 million ($2,000,000 – $2,999,999) is $22,300.

An annual report must be given to the ATO to say how long the property has been occupied as a residence during the year. Failure to provide the report will mean the fee is deemed to apply.

The change in law affects foreign buyers who submit an application or notice to the Foreign Investment Review Board after 9 May 2017 to buy a property (or purchased a pre-approved property under a New Dwelling Certificate).

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