From 1 July 2016, new requirements are imposed on property buyers (including some buying an option) under the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 6) Act 2016 (Cth).
All buyers of Australian real estate, valued at $2m or over, must retain 10% of the purchase price and pay this amount as withholding tax to the ATO unless the seller produces an ATO clearance certificate or a variation notice prior to settlement.
The requirement means that unless a vendor demonstrates it is not a foreign resident then the purchaser must withhold and pay to the ATO the withholding amount.
How can an Australian resident vendor obtain a clearance certificate?
Three online forms will be made available at www.ato.gov.au/FRCGW from 27 June 2016. These are:
1. Clearance certificate application for Australian residents
2. Variation application for foreign residents and other parties
3. Purchaser payment notification