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Compliance

Foreign investment in residential real estate – self-disclosure

Amendments in 2015 to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 strengthened the laws around foreign investment and imposed penalties for breaching the foreign investment rules.

Foreign persons who have breached Australia’s foreign investment rules for residential real estate can self-disclose their personal circumstances and may receive an infringement notice of a lesser value.

Those persons that do not self-disclose, and are picked up through ATO compliance activities, will be issued with an infringement notice of a greater value and/or consideration of civil penalty proceedings.

Penalties

View the penalty regime for breaches of the rules that apply to residential real estate.

How to disclose

Investors can send an email directly to FIRBcompliance@ato.gov.au providing details and attaching relevant information as follows:

  • owner’s name, address, contact details and passport information
  • property address, type, ownership details and a contract of sale, and
  • company or trust details where applicable.

Investors will receive an email acknowledgement when the self-disclosure email is successfully received.

How to report a breach

If you have information about a possible breach of Australia’s foreign investment rules, you can report your concerns by sending an email to FIRBcompliance@ato.gov.au and providing the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact
  • Email address
  • Property address
  • Name of owner or occupant (if known)
  • Date of purchase (if known)
  • Other factual information about property

An email acknowledgement will be returned when the email is successfully received.

If you would like to remain anonymous when reporting a breach you can call the foreign investment enquiry line on 1800 050 377 or if you are calling from overseas dial +61 6216 1111 and ask to be transferred to 1800 050 377.

Privacy laws prevent us from sharing details of any foreign investment compliance application or investigation.

ATO compliance approach

The ATO use data matching systems to detect breaches of Australia’s foreign investment rules.

The ATO has commenced compliance activities on possible breaches and will pursue and penalise those found to have illegal investments.