You may be aware that the Office of State Revenue is the Queensland Government tax collector. The OSR informed us last week that they are in the process of sending text messages to home buyers who received a transfer duty concession when they purchased their home.
When you buy a residential property to live in as your home, you pay a lower rate of transfer duty compared with what investors would have to pay for the same property. For first home buyers up to $500,000, no duty is payable.
It is expected that the OSR will be reminding home buyers of their obligations where their circumstances change within the relevant time period.
Where you were not entitled to the full concession, you may have to pay the higher amount of transfer duty to the OSR. In addition to the transfer duty, failing to notify the OSR of a relevant change of circumstances is an offence – where the maximum penalty is $12,615.
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.
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.