You may be aware that the Office of State Revenue (OSR) is the Queensland Government tax collector.

The OSR informed us last week (9 November 2018) that they are in the process of sending text messages to home buyers who received a transfer duty concession when they purchased their home.

The purpose of the text message is to remind these buyers of their obligations regarding transfer duty.

Why write about this?

Due to the increasing incidences of hi-tech sophisticated fraud, we all know that we need to be cautious when reading emails and text messages – particularly where links are included.

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.  If the property is a holiday home, it’s treated the same as an investment 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.

The OSR state that their “courtesy messages” will direct property buyers to the OSR website where they can refresh their knowledge of their obligations – and take action where necessary.  No action is required where you have complied with your obligations as a home owner.

Where you were not entitled to the full concession, you may have to pay the difference between the lower amount and the higher amount of transfer duty.  In addition to the extra duty, failing to notify the OSR of a relevant change of circumstances is an offence – where the maximum penalty is $12,615.

OSR Website

The relevant OSR pages are:

home concessions

first home concessions

concessions and disposal

how we connect with our clients

What are your obligations?

Where you buy a residential property as your home, you receive a 15-page document comprising an 8-page claim form and a 7-page information guide!  The information guide explains the grounds for your entitlement to claim a transfer duty concession.

When you claim a concession, you are making a formal legal declaration about the truth of your circumstances.

To be eligible for a concession, you must:

• be an individual

• occupy the residence as your home within 1 year of the transfer date

• not dispose of the land, either

– before you occupy the residence as your home; or

– within 1 year after you start to occupy the residence as your home.

To be eligible for the first home concession:

• you must be at least 18 years of age

• the home must be your first home.

You must notify the OSR within 28 days if you:

• do not occupy the residence as your home within 1 year of the transfer date

• dispose of the land, either

– before you occupy the residence as your home, or

– within 1 year after you start to occupy the residence as your home.

Failing to notify is an offence – the maximum penalty is an additional $12,615

What should you do?

If your circumstances have changed within the relevant time periods, you are obliged to notify the OSR of what has occurred.  Every individual situation has to be considered.  Some property buyers intentionally ignore their obligations whereas some buyers circumstances have changed for reasons beyond their control.

You can contact the OSR yourself.  Alternatively, we can assist and manage the process, and if appropriate, explain why a penalty should not be imposed – or why a penalty should be reduced.

Disclaimer: The above is to be considered as general education. This is not advice and it is not to be acted upon without advice from a qualified professional who understands your personal circumstances.

Copyright © 2018 Wockner Lawyers. All Rights Reserved. Contact Wockner Lawyers – [email protected]. This article may not be used without the prior written consent from the author. See below for more details…

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