Gerry Brownlee says Kiwis fall outside proposed Australian tax on foreign land purchasers

Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee met with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop earlier this month to discuss concerns about how Kiwis were being affected by Australian policy changes. (Jason Reed/Reuters)


01 June 2017

The Bill to implement part of the Budget measures (CGT) was introduced yesterday. The measures will only prevent foreign tax residents from claiming the CGT main residence exemption, and not temporary residents.

New Zealanders residing in Australia are generally not foreign residents, and therefore not captured by the proposed changes to CGT. Please seek financial advice to confirm your tax liability when selling property.

Oz Kiwi opinion

23 May 2017

Oh dear.

Gerry Brownlee clearly doesn’t understand the Budget measures that could affect Kiwis in Australia.

He talks about a tax on foreign land purchases, when the proposal actually imposes a tax on the sale of family homes.

He says Kiwis won’t be affected as they’re not considered ‘foreigners’. Certainly, Kiwis living in Australia aren’t considered foreign tax residents. However, most post-2001 Kiwis are considered ‘temporary residents’ under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and thus would appear to be caught by the changes.

We hope Mr Bronwnlee is right and that all will turn out fine in the end. However, we’d have a lot more confidence in his statements if he had a better grasp of the policy in question.

Gerry Brownlee says Kiwis fall outside proposed Australian tax on foreign land purchasers

23 May 2017

Jo Moir – Stuff

Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee says most Kiwis living in Australia weren’t considered foreigners so wouldn’t be subject to any law change that taxes profits on house sales.

Earlier this month the Australian Budget removed an exemption from capital gains tax on a main residence for foreign and temporary tax residents.

It’s once again added fuel to the fire of a breakdown of trans-Tasman relations and Kiwis living in Australia getting stung by the government.

Brownlee, who recently met with his counterpart Julie Bishop, to vent New Zealand’s concerns over education and immigration changes affecting Kiwis as Australia moves towards an ‘Australia First’ policy, says in this instance nothing has changed.

“There’s no legislation yet in the Australian Parliament around this. They’re working through it, we’re working with them to make sure they understand that Kiwis have had a long exclusion from being considered foreign for land purchases in Australia.”

“What it looks like is the Australian Budget wants to capture some of the foreign purchasers in Australia – similar to the way we do in New Zealand. But that does not mean New Zealanders are caught, at this point we are still in discussions with Australia about that,” Brownlee said.

It’s understood the proposed tax on house sale profits would be up to 50 per cent but it’s still being considered by the Australian Treasury.

Brownlee said New Zealanders were generally under a “special category visa” which wasn’t part of the proposed changes and has different provisions.

When Brownlee met with Bishop in Sydney an undertaking was made that Australia would consult with New Zealand in the future regarding any changes to their laws that would affect Kiwis living abroad.

“We have heard from the Treasurer’s office and they’re well aware of New Zealand’s particularly special position relating to Australia, so we would assume that the undertaking we’ve had so far about early consultation as they go through this process over the next several months before they have a bill will continue,” he said.

If changes were made to the tax status of Kiwis living in Australia then Brownlee said it would need to be done through the legislative process and “we would of course have a big input into that”.

“We’d hope we can keep the measures we have in place now in any new arrangement they have,” he said.

[Read the Stuff article].

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