Source: Australian Treasurer
The Morrison Government will launch a new Tip Off and compliance campaign, to ensure foreign investors purchasing residential real estate in Australia are doing the right thing, and those that breaking the rules are subject to appropriate penalties.
Under Australia’s foreign investment framework, foreign persons seeking to purchase residential real estate in Australia generally need to apply for foreign investment approval. This applies to new dwellings, vacant residential land for development and in some circumstances, established property.
The Tip Off campaign continues to build on the Government’s reforms to strengthen Australia’s foreign investment framework. This follows legislation passed by the Parliament that introduces higher infringement notice penalties for residential land valued over $5 million to support more effective enforcement, as well as new civil penalties and infringement notices for providing false or misleading information.
Stronger and more flexible enforcement options will ensure that our foreign investment regime is able to respond to emerging risks and global developments.
While the majority of foreign investors act in good faith in complying with the law, Australians expect their Government to maintain a high standard of enforcement in order to safeguard Australia’s national interest, businesses and the economy.
If you have information about someone who may be breaking the foreign investment rules or you have concerns about suspected illegal behaviour and activities by foreign persons relating to their ownership of Australian residential real estate, you can make a confidential tip off by calling the Australian Tax Office’s hotline on 1800 060 062 or completing the online tip off form.
If you are a foreign person and you have not followed the rules you should also contact the tip off hotline. There are strict penalties including criminal prosecution resulting in large fines or up to three years’ imprisonment for breaching foreign investment rules. Lower penalties may apply for foreign persons who come forward voluntarily.
Australia welcomes foreign investment for the significant benefits it provides but the Government will continue to ensure that all Australians can have confidence that their interests are being protected when it comes to foreign investment rules for residential real estate.