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Get a certificate when selling property over $2m

By Matt Hurlston

Thinking of putting your Glen Huntly real estate up for sale in the near future? Well, if it’s valued at more than $2million, you’ll need to be aware of new rules affecting the national property market.

From 1 July, resident sellers will need to get hold of a clearance certificate from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This confirms that the ATO won’t need to hold back 10 per cent from the transaction, as would be the case if it involved an overseas buyer.

Concerns have been raised in recent years that foreign investment is getting too high across Australia, something these regulations should be able to help minimise. The changes were first announced in 2013 but only now are they coming into force.

Applying for a clearance certificate

Assistant commissioner at the ATO, Malcolm Allen, explained that it’s a good idea to apply for a certificate sooner rather than later to avoid any delay to the sales process. Once issued, the clearance document will be valid for 12 months.

“It is easy to obtain a clearance certificate,” Mr Allen pointed out.

“The form is available to download through our website, and there is no fee for clearance certificate applications.”

Once the ATO has received your completed form, it will verify that all the information you’ve provided is factually correct. Submitting the documents online is the quickest option, as paper forms are likely to take between two and four weeks to process.

The main reason these rules have been introduced is to make sure overseas residents are meeting their capital gains tax liabilities when buying Ormond real estate and homes elsewhere in Australia. It’s a system that has already been effective in other parts of the world, including the likes of Spain, Japan and the US.

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