• New GST legislation passes for buyers of new residential property sales


    The Federal Government has passed legislation that will require purchasers of new residential property sales to remit the GST directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as part of settlement.

    Announced as part of last year’s Federal Budget, this reform is designed to improve the integrity of GST on property transactions. According to the ATO website, some developers were failing to remit the GST to the ATO despite having claimed GST credits on their construction costs.

    The legislation specifies;
    • purchasers of new residential property transactions will be required to withhold 1/11th of the purchase price and pay this to the ATO,
    • the developer will receive a credit for this GST through the normal GST business activity statement lodgement,
    • a reduced withholding tax rate of seven per cent can be used where the margin scheme has been applied,
    • developers will now be required to provide purchasers with information that assists them with determining whether the withholding applies,
    • special transitional provisions are included for project delivery agreements.

    This change will take effect on 1 July 2018, however the Government have announced it will introduce a transitional arrangement to this budget measure, which will exclude contracts signed before 1 July 2018, as long as the transaction settles before 1 July 2020.

    We are preparing the relevant forms so you can assist your buyers and sellers with this change.

    For more information about this new legislation, visit ato.gov.au.

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