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Information for foreign investors buying property

If you are a foreign person planning to buy an Australian property, you will need to note the following:

FIRB application

If you are a foreign investor intending to purchase Australian properties, you will firstly need to apply for Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) Approval with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 

Application fees payable directly to the ATO will be applicable and is non-refundable. The application fee depends on the type of property being purchased, the entity type purchasing, etc. 

The ATO’s usual processing timeframe for a FIRB Application is up to 28 working days hence we recommend clients organise this as soon as possible.

Signing of documents 

Documents for the property transfer will have to be witnessed by qualified witness overseas and we suggest settling via the PEXA Digital platform as this will makes things easier. Our office is registered with PEXA.

Stamp duty

Please note for transactions liable for stamp duty, foreign residents have to bear an Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD) aside from the standard stamp duty applicable.

AFAD applies when all the following conditions are met:

  • You are an acquirer for the purposes of the transaction and a foreign person;
  • Your transaction involves AFAD residential land (including chattels or existing rights); and
  • The liability for your transaction arises on or after 1 October 2016.

AFAD residential land includes and is not limited to:

  • Homes and apartments (including chattels)
  • Vacant land on which a home or apartment will be built
  • Land for residential development, such as
  • Smaller unit blocks
  • Housing subdivisions

For more information, please contact our team at (07) 5571 1600.

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