In September 2013, the applicant purchased a property for which he applied for and received a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 and duties benefits under the Duties Act 2000.
In February 2018, after an investigation, the Commissioner determined the applicant had not occupied the property as his principal place of residence (PPR) during the relevant period and issued notices reversing his decision to pay the grant, requiring its repayment, and imposing a penalty of $700 (10% of the $7,000 grant). The Commissioner also determined that the applicant was not entitled to the duties PPR concession nor the first home buyer duty reduction and issued an assessment for additional duty and a penalty of 20% of the additional duty amount.
On 10 September 2020, the Tribunal decided in favour of the Commissioner, concluding that the applicant’s evidence should not be given much weight since, in many respects his evidence was not credible. The objective evidence strongly favoured a conclusion that the property was a tenanted investment property and that the applicant continued to live with or close to his now ex-wife and their children in another property. The Tribunal determined the applicant had not satisfied the residence requirement with respect to the property and therefore confirmed the duty assessment, the decision to reverse the grant and the penalty.