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Posted by on in General
● A foreigner stamp duty surcharge applies to properties purchased in VIC, NSW and QLD
● It's not yet clear if other states will follow
● Some foreigners and temporary Australian residents may be able to avoid the additional costs
21 February 2017, Sydney, Australia - The Australian government has been forced to turn up the heat on foreign investment and slapping temporary residents with a stamp duty surcharge is the latest addition to their toolbelt.
Victoria (VIC) was the first state to introduce a stamp duty surcharge but, since then, New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD) have followed suit.
For the time being, surcharges on stamp duty or land transfer duty only apply to these three east coast states.
However, depending on your circumstances, you may still be able to avoid the additional stamp duty.
Stamp duty surcharge in VIC
It applies if:
● You’re a foreign citizen or a temporary resident
● You signed the Contract of Sale after 1 July 2015.
How much is it?
Prior to the additional stamp duty changes that came into effect on 1 July 2015, duty in Victoria was applied on a sliding scale, starting at 1.4 per cent for properties valued at $25,000 and rising to 5.5 per cent for those valued at $960,000 and above.
These rates still apply but the SRO Vic now charges an additional duty of 3% of the property value for contracts signed between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.
That means a 7% additional land transfer duty applies to all property purchased from 1 July 2016 onwards.
Luckily, a surcharge only applies to stamp duty and not land tax.
The only exception to this is the so-called absentee land tax surcharge which increased from 0.5% to 1.5% on 1 January 2017.
This applies to absentee owners of land.
Case study
For an $800,000 property in Victoria, the normal stamp duty is $43,070.
For foreigners and temporary residents, your stamp duty now shoots up to $99,070 for the same property. That’s $56,000 more!
Be sure to check the State Revenue Office Victoria (SRO Vic) for more information.
Stamp duty surcharge in NSW
A stamp duty surcharge applies if:
● You’re a foreign citizen or a temporary resident. 
● You signed the Contract of Sale after 21 June 2016.
In addition to the additional stamp duty, an extra land tax duty applies to purchases made from 1 January 2017.
Neither surcharge applies if you're buying a commercial property such as a retail shop front or office space.
How much is it?
In specific circumstances, a 4% stamp duty surcharge and a 0.75% land tax surcharge applies.
Case study
Previously, stamp duty on a $800,000 property for both Australian citizens and temporary residents would have been $31,490.
Temp residents now have to pay up to $63,490, a $32,000 increase.
It's best to check out the NSW Office of State Revenue website to stay on top of any further changes.
Stamp duty surcharge in QLD
It applies if:
● You’re a foreign citizen or a temporary resident. 
● You signed the Contract of Sale after 1 October 2016.
How much is it?
A 3% stamp duty surcharge applies.
Case study
Previously, stamp duty would have been $21,850 for an $800,000 property in QLD.
You’re now paying $45,850 which is a $24,000 increase.
You should refer to the QLD Office of State Revenue website for more information.
How else can I avoid extra stamp duty?
The extra stamp duty or land tax surcharge doesn't apply in the following circumstances:
● You’re an Australian citizen.
● You're an Australian citizen living and working overseas (an Aussie expat).
● You're a permanent resident.
● You're a New Zealand citizen on a Special Category Visa (subclass 444).
● You're buying in the name of your spouse is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
If these options don't apply to you, the other two solutions are to:
● Purchase in a state that doesn't apply the extra stamp duty surcharge.
● Wait until you become a permanent resident.
About is one of Australia’s leading specialist mortgage brokers.
Founded in 2006 by managing director Otto Dargan, the brokerage specialises in no deposit, unusual employment, non-residents and bad credit, as well as first home buyers, investors and discounts for professionals.
With a loan book of more than $1 billion, has won a number of industry and consumer awards including being named one of the top 10 independent brokerages of 2014 and winning ‘Best Customer Service’ in the 2015 and 2016 Better Business Awards as well as the ‘Major Brokerage Of The Year - Non-Franchise’ in the 2015 Australian Broking Awards. 
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Due to a high volume of demands we are extending the offer with American Express for ONE more week!
Check out this facility whereby you can pay and earn points for your business expenses, application fees and even ATO (PAYG/BAS) etc with American Express Business Cards.
This allows you to:
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Please note: This offer is exclusive to the month of April only. It is a short and simple process. Give Farisa Sajjad in the Business Team a call before the 25th of April to find out more. Details below:
Farisa Sajjad
P: +61 3 9633 6670  M: +61 448 088 187
E:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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An interesting story came in on Friday afternoon last week.  Unfortunately, as Migration Alliance could not identify the RMA, we chose not to assist.   If anyone has any comments about this, please post them in the comments section:

From: Jane Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

Dear Migration Alliance, 

I have a problem requiring your urgent assistance. I am a Registered Migration Agent. For privacy reasons I am not using my real name.
I am in a bit of a difficult situation and I am hoping that you could help.
I have recently resigned from a position at a migration agency and I've given notice until the end of this month. My MARA registration is due for renewal this month. Unfortunately, due to an oversight, I did not renew my MARA registration before I resigned. Now I am trying to get it renewed, however I need information and documents from my current employer in order to complete the registration (the required documents and information are related to the trust account, professional indemnity insurance and LegendCom subscription). I have asked my current employer to provide the documents and information but they seem to be dragging their feet. I am worried that they will not provide this information in time for me to renew my registration.
To complicate matters, I have accepted a job offer from another migration agency. For personal reasons, I did not tell my current employer that I am going to another migration agency. I do not want my current employer to know which migration agency I will be working for.
Now - my dilemma is this. In the event that my current employer does not provide the documents/information in time for my MARA registration renewal, I will have to request them from my new employer (even though I haven't started my employment there yet). However, this means I'll have to update the business details in my MARA registration renewal application and I am afraid this will end up on my MARA profile. I do not want the details of my new employer to be published on my MARA profile because I do not want my current employer to know where I am going.
The only way I can think of getting around this is to renew my MARA registration with the details of my new employer, however, update my MARA profile to put myself as the primary business without disclosing my new employer's details. However, I am concerned that this would constitute providing false/misleading information to MARA which is an offence.
If I have to update my employer's details on the MARA register, is it possible for MARA not to publish the details of my employer on my public profile? If so, I can simply renew my registration with my new employer's details and insurance, LegendCom subscription, etc, without alerting my current employer of who my new employer is.
I haven't contacted MARA regarding this because in the past they haven't been helpful. I have previously made an anonymous enquiry and they flatly refused to help me unless I told them who I was. 
At this stage, I haven't updated my employer details on my MARA profile as I haven't left my current employment yet.
I am hoping to resolve this quickly so any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Kind regards,
J. Smith
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We have a partnership with American Express whereby you can pay your business expenses, application fees and even ATO (PAYG/BAS) etc with American Express Business Cards. This allows you to:


-  Get up-to 51 Days Payment Extensions, with no interest, which gives you breathing space and extended cash flow

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If you are planning to lodge an Australian visa application and you ring 131 881 you are putting your life at risk. Quite literally. Your Australian immigration future is at stake.

Today, I have three separate examples from three different Registered Migration Agents (RMAs). This is not a new story, or a new problem. This has been going on for a long time. Too long, in fact. There are countless stories which come in from RMAs, who describe their absolute horror and frustration at the information provided to their clients from officers manning the phones at DIBP.

131 881 is literally an immigration death trap.

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