The On December 8, 2015, the Australian Government announced it will be conducting extensive cross-checking of records to hunt down illegal owners of Australian real estate. By Scott O. Talbot, December 9, 2015
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is the Government agency responsible for overseeing foreign property investment.
The ATO will be examining more than 11 million people and has requested 32 years’ worth of data relating to real estate transactions across the country.
The ATO has demanded revenue and land title authorities and rental bond authorities across all Australian states to provide all data from 1985 to 2017.
ATO compliance officers will be cross referencing Land Title data property ownership with rental bond authorities, inconstancy will certainly red flag properties illegally purchased.
As an example, if the registered land owner is different to the landlord registered with the bond authority, this will immediately raise suspicion that something (most likely) illegally is being conducted.
The Foreign buyer crackdown was revealed in the latest Australian Government Gazette, wherein the Commissioner of Taxation lodged a notice of the data matching program.
Only a week after the government’s amnesty towards foreign investors whom who had unlawfully purchased property had expired, the Australian Tax Office cross referencing initiative is estimated to see a huge increase in identifying illegal Australian real estate transactions.
Over 50 compliance officers charged with investigating potential breaches of the law will also be looking into lawyers, conveyances and real estate agents that knowingly assisted foreign investors make an illegal transaction. Anyone that wrongly assist foreign investors will face fines of up to $42,500 for individuals and $212,500 for companies.
“The property data will be used to assist in the screening of foreign resident real estate applications and compliance activity to ensure foreign residents are complying with relevant laws,” an ATO spokesperson said.