Understanding Vacancy Fee Obligations for Foreign Property Owners

Are you a property owner in Australia, particularly in the Inner West Sydney area? The Abanese government’s focus on foreign-owned properties might affect you. Labor suggests that rising property prices result from excessive foreign ownership and insufficient rental activity. Imagine receiving a letter from the government demanding an annual vacancy fee return of up to $300,000 for your property, with failure to pay potentially leading to the government selling your property to recoup the fees.

Mandated Vacancy Fee Return

The Australian Federal Government mandated the vacancy fee return in May 2017 for foreign residents acquiring property after this date. It requires filing an annual vacancy fee return with the Australian Taxation Office within 30 days of the anniversary year’s end. Specific guidelines provided by the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board outline the criteria for filing, including applications made after May 9, 2017, and exemptions for certain types of property acquisitions.

Filing Requirements and Obligations

For properties acquired before May 9, 2017, a vacancy fee return generally isn’t required unless the foreign investment application certificate was obtained before May 2017. Jointly-owned properties have specific filing requirements depending on the type of ownership.

Avoiding Penalties

The property must be occupied or rented out for at least 183 days annually, with continuous rental periods of at least 30 days to avoid the vacancy fee. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in penalties outlined by the Foreign Investment Review Board, including infringement notices, civil penalties, and the potential creation of charges over Australian land.

Expert Assistance Available

At EndureGo Tax, your trusted local accountant serving Inner West Sydney Ashfield and Northern Beaches Belrose, we can assist you with vacancy fee returns. Whether you’re a real estate agent, conveyancer, or property owner, we’re here to help you navigate these regulations and ensure compliance. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance with your tax accounting needs.

vacancy fee return