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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.
How to disclose
Investors (or their representatives) can complete the Self-disclosure form. Up to three properties can be reported on a form and documents can be attached. For more than three properties, provide the relevant information and email FIRBcompliance@ato.gov.au quoting the reference number you will receive after you submit the form.
The form requires details including:
- 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.
Please note: the form cannot be saved. For your records we suggest you print a copy of the form.
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 completing the foreign investment breach reporting form. You can remain anonymous when reporting a breach.
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.