Absentee Owner Surcharge

by | Dec 16, 2019 | Conveyancing & Property, Corporate & Business

It is almost the time of the year that if you are an absentee owner in 2019, you need to log onto the Absentee Owner Notification Portal between 2 January 2020 – 15 January 2020 to notify the State Revenue Office.  

Absentee Owner Land Tax Surcharge was introduced by State Revenue Office (SRO) on 1 January 2016.  The surcharge rate has since increased to 2% on 1 January 2020.

Although this requirement has been enforced by SRO for almost 2 years, many land owners still do not know the requirement by SRO and often miss the notification to SRO with its status.  The definition of Absentee Owner is also different to the definition of a foreign under the Duties Act 2000 for the purpose of define a foreign person and the definition of a foreign person under the Foreign Acquisitions Act.  An absentee owner can be one of the following:

  • An absentee individual;
  • An absentee corporation, or
  • A trustee of an absentee trust.

We suggest you seek legal advice if you are considered a foreign person, foreign corporation or a foreign trust.

If you have failed to tell SRO that you are an absentee owner, you could be liable for penalty tax as follows:

  • 5% if you voluntarily tell SRO that you are an absentee owner before SRO start an investigation.
  • 20% if you tell SRO you are an absentee owner after SRO start an investigation.
  • Up to 90% if SRO believe that you intentionally disregarded the law and hindered their investigation.

Please contact Nevett Ford Lawyers property team if you require any clarifications or advice.