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Australia has enacted new rules, effective July 1, 2018,
requiring withholding of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sales or long-term
leases of new residential property or “potentially residential land.”
The new withholding regime is intended to reduce instances
in which buyers pay GST to developers, who sometimes go out of business and do
not remit it to the government. Under the new rules, the buyer will have to
withhold the GST from the purchase price, and remit it before settlement. It
will become part of the settlement process rather than something the seller
does post-settlement. The new rules will not apply, however, to contracts
entered into before July 1, 2018 so long as settlement occurs before July 1,
The withholding requirement applies to:
The amount of GST withholding is:
The buyer is required to remit the GST to the Australian Tax
Office (ATO) on or before the settlement date. Significant penalties apply to
failures to do so.
These new provisions will result in significant impacts:
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