The Real estate agents from around the world that have assisted foreign investors acquire property illegally, are under the micro scope by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The Australian Government is warning real estate agents to brace for heavy fines and criminal convictions if they assisted overseas buyers to purchase Australia real estate illegally.
As the Australian government strengthens the rules around foreign investment in real estate, the ATO has commenced a data-matching program that will trawl 30,000 “entities" records held by other government agencies, dating back to 1985.
The new Australian Government laws that criminalise this behaviour of illegal overseas investment.
Three-year jail term;
$135,000 fine for individuals;
$637,500 fine for companies;
The property owner Civil Penalty increased to either the capital gain or 25 per cent of the value of the property – whichever is greater. Company Civil penalties are up to five times more severe.
Real estate agents and foreign investors that are under investigation, would not be aware that they are being investigated," Scott O.Talbot said,
“Unethical selling agents will be hunted down and prosecuted by the Australian Government”.
The Australian Government is also creating a comprehensive land register framework to provide increased scrutiny around foreign ownership in Australia.
The illegal overseas investment crackdown is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ with neighbours reporting neighbours and, agents reporting agents. There will be no escape from sophisticated illegal real estate purchases that have used trusts to conceal their ownership of established properties.
If you suspect fraud by an real estate agent or overseas property owner, contact: www.ato.gov.au