Trying to get useful information from the internet is about as easy as getting a glass of water from a fire hydrant! If you haven't heard that expression before, you have now. I heard that at a law conference last year.
I also heard a discussion on the radio about the ever-increasing need for professional advice due to the avalanche of information which people will be unable to properly decipher and use.
Why write about this?
I've just read an article published by a reputable national company involved with the real estate industry - not a real estate agency.
The topic was transfer duty (or stamp duty) - and it contained significant factual errors.
It's a concern because when information is shared by a well-known brand in the industry, it's likely that most of their readers will rely upon it and develop their plans based on the information.
Many smaller organisations may re-publish or share the information with their own readers - further adding to the spread of mis-information.
From 1 July 2018, you will find it more difficult to sell your house, land or apartment to foreign buyers. Foreign people buying residential real estate in Queensland now pay even more duty to the Office of State Revenue (OSR) for the Queensland Government.
We have previously written about Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD) - the additional duty paid by foreign persons when buying residential real estate. Similar laws exists throughout Australia.
AFAD commenced on 1 October 2016, when an additional 3% of the purchase price was added to the amount of duty payable by foreign buyers.
From 1 July 2018, AFAD increases to 7%.
AFAD is an additional amount, as the foreign buyer is also required to pay the standard transfer duty which is payable by Australian citizens and permanent residents.
The Office of State Revenue has provided guidance as to how New Zealand citizens buying property will be treated in relation to AFAD.
It is common for homeowners to want to upgrade their home.
If you have been paying down your mortgage debt for several years and the value of your home has increased, you may want to buy a more expensive property in a better location.
If your family has increased with the addition of children, not only do you want to upgrade, but you need to upgrade to a larger home.
As some government charges for property purchases increase every financial year, this is a good time to look at the costs of selling and buying - from 1st of July 2018.
We will provide an update on the additional costs payable by foreign persons in a separate article.
In 2018, we have all listened with great interest to people recounting their experiences with the banking industry.
Whilst many of the encounters have had a devastating effect on the people involved, few of their stories surprise the legal profession - and no doubt many others.
At some future time, the Royal Commission will release a detailed report containing recommendations for a raft of changes.
When reading many of these harrowing stories, a consistent factor appeared to be that legal advice was either not obtained, or if obtained - was not acted upon.
Today's brief article is intended to give you an idea why a lawyer should often be the first person to speak with when contemplating many finance transactions.
This article is not about someone buying their first home, or someone upgrading their home. The emphasis of this article is very much on those people who are borrowing money secured against real estate assets to buy investments - such as real estate, shares or businesses.
This week, property owners are receiving the Annual Land Valuation Notice from the State Valuation Service.
Many people won't pay much attention to the Notice as it's only a valuation of property you own. The Notice doesn't require you to pay any money.
The problem is that the valuations are used to calculate the Land Tax that you will pay in October. And if the valuations are unreasonably high, you have to take action now. Any objection has to be lodged by 8 May 2018.
It's worth taking this issue seriously. One government agency is determining the value of your property so that another government agency can send you a bill based solely on their own assessment.
Earlier this week, clients sent me a Land Tax Assessment Notice for $18,000. Their family trust owns an impressive house, which they rent out.
They intend to move into the house as the family home. Bearing in mind that land tax is an annual charge, which usually increases each year - they wanted to know whether the land tax could be avoided.
Today's article provides some good news, as it explains the circumstances where Land Tax won't be payable on a family home owned by your family trust. You can enjoy the asset protection benefits of a Family Trust without paying the ever-increasing burden of annual land tax payments.
Most people own their home in their personal names & enjoy these financial benefits: ◦lower (or no) Transfer Duty ◦no Land Tax ◦no Capital Gains Tax
However, asset protection is becoming more important to many people, and they avoid owning assets in their personal names. The problem with owning your home in your family trust is that you lose these 3 major financial benefits.
Defective Goods & Unfair Contracts
As we are approaching the peak season for consumer spending, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has recently been promoting awareness of your legal rights when dealing with retailers.
Today's article brings to your attention some of these public statements made by the ACCC which you need to keep in mind when making a purchase.
Moving Home: Same-day Settlements.
When you decide to move your home from your current address to a new premises, it's common to try and sell your existing home, and buy the new home at the same time - and to settle the 2 Contracts on the same day
You may have successfully bought and sold on the same day before - and if it all went smoothly, you'd think it's common-place and the normal thing to do.