Removal of Main Residence Exemption for Foreign and Temporary Residents – Update

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The removal of the main residence exemption for foreign residents was announced on 9 May 2017. The measure was discussed in a previous newsletter article.  The bill that was initially introduced lapsed when the federal election was called earlier this year but was reintroduced to the House of Representatives on 23 October 2019 as the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Bill 2019. As a tax accountant, staying updated on these developments is essential to assist clients in navigating the evolving landscape of property taxation.

The bill is very similar to that discussed in our earlier article, with the fundamental changes being:

  • The transitional period will be extended to 30 June 2020, meaning that properties that meet all the conditions for main residence exemption that were acquired before 9 May 2017 and sold before 30 June 2020 will still qualify for the exemption.
  • Some quite limited exceptions allow a foreign resident to continue to access the main residence exemption for CGT events concerning certain “life events” (e.g. terminal medical conditions, death of a spouse or child, or family law matters) if they have been a foreign resident for six years or less at the time of the CGT event.

Suppose you don’t currently live in Australia but still own a property that was your family home prior to 9 May 2017. In that case, you should consider your options concerning the property urgently, and we suggest you call us to discuss your circumstances.

Kreston Stanley Williamson Team

*Correct as of October 2019

Disclaimer – Kreston Stanley Williamson has produced this article to serve its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas in this article, you must seek advice about your circumstances. Liability is limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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