Well we are a few weeks into the new financial year and, as is usual, property owners and investors should be aware of various changes to property rules from the ATO.
Australia wide, the greatest and possibly the one with the biggest impact on investors, new home buyers and developers is the requirement for purchasers of new residential premises or potential residential land to withhold an amount of the contract price and pay this directly to the ATO at settlement.
Essentially, this means for affected property transactions, purchasers will need to:
- split the amount of GST from the total purchase price,
- pay the GST component directly to the ATO by a disbursement at settlement, and
- pay the GST exclusive purchase price to the property developer (vendor).
The new rule imposes requirements onto the vendor/developer as well. Developers need to give written notification to the purchasers when they need to withhold.
The actual liability for the GST remains with the property developer, however there are no changes to how property developers lodge their business activity statements.
Should you be contemplating purchasing new residential property or potential residential land there are a number of forms that need to be completed by the purchaser or their representative (a conveyancer or solicitor) after contract signing and prior to settlement. Speak to your agent or conveyancer to ensure you comply with the new requirements or visit https://bit.ly/2tLbVri for more information from the ATO.
1 July 2018 also marks the date from which first home buyers can access super contributions for the purpose of buying their first home. Since 1 July 2017 eligible Australians have been able to make voluntary super contributions of up to $15,000 a year, to a maximum of $30,000 over more than one year, to their superannuation account to help purchase their first home. Since 1 July 2018, eligible Australians are able to apply to their super funds to release these contributions (and earnings) for the purposes of purchasing a first home.
Finally, another change on 1 July 2018: Australians aged 65 years + can make a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution into their super account of up to $300,000 from the sale proceeds of their family home (main residence) if they have owned the property for at least 10 years. Couples will be able to contribute up to $300,000 each, giving a total contribution of up to $600,000.
Again, please visit the ATO website https://bit.ly/2udPt9Jor discuss with your financial advisor for detailed information related to your particular circumstances.