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Foreign purchasers of residential property on or after 1 July 2015 must pay an additional land transfer duty unless an exemption applies.

If you are a foreign purchaser that is a corporation incorporated in Australia or a trust, the Commissioner, under a delegation from the Treasurer, may exercise his discretion to exempt a person with a controlling or substantial interest in that entity, such that that person is taken not to have the controlling or substantial interest. The effect of this exemption is that the foreign person will not have to pay the additional duty on the transaction. It is intended that the exemption will only be granted in limited circumstances.

The persons that are intended to be exempted are those whose commercial activities significantly add to the supply of housing stock in Victoria (either through new developments or through re-development, where such development is primarily residential).

If you wish to apply for an exemption, you should first refer to the relevant Treasurer’s guidelines to ascertain your eligibility for the Treasurer’s discretion to apply: 

  • The guidelines issued on 1 October 2018, include an example of how build-to-rent developments may qualify for the exemption, and apply to any transactions and relevant acquisitions occurring on or after 1 October 2018.
  • The guidelines issued on 5 January 2018, following a scheduled review, apply to any transactions or relevant acquisitions that occurred on or after 5 January 2018 and before 1 October 2018.
  • The guidelines issued on 11 August 2015 apply to any transaction or relevant acquisitions that occurred before 5 January 2018.

You should submit your application for exemption before the completion of your transaction. The person making the application should be the transferee for the transfer.

1

Prepare the application

Refer to the Treasurer’s guidelines when preparing your application.

Your written application should provide the following information and supporting documents on:

The foreign purchaser

  • A brief explanation of what makes them a foreign purchaser,
  • If the foreign purchaser is a corporation, the place of incorporation,
  • If the foreign purchaser is a trust, the place of incorporation of any corporations or trusts that have a substantial interest in the trust estate, and
  • Documents detailing the ownership structure of the corporation or trust, such as:
    • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) documents showing shareholders, or
    • A Registry of beneficiaries or other document detailing the identity of the beneficiaries and their entitlements to the assets of the trust.

The person with a substantial or controlling interest in the corporation or trust

  • Evidence of the person(s) ultimately in control of decision making and the degree of their control over the company or the administration and conduct of the trust.

Other relevant circumstances regarding the transaction and the foreign purchaser

  • Whether the transaction will give rise to a significant addition of housing stock in Victoria, or whether the foreign purchaser is regarded as significantly adding to the Victoria’s housing stock. In particular: 
    • Whether the development or redevelopment will add 50 or more residential premises to Victoria’s housing stock, or
    • Whether the corporation or trust have or will add 50 or more residential premises to Victoria’s housing stock within the 12-month period,
  • The impact on the Victorian economy and community, including: 
    • The employment of Australian citizens or permanent residents in the residential development or redevelopment, or
    • The use of services and materials of Australian building contractors and suppliers,
  • Good corporate behaviour, including compliance with Foreign Investment Review Board requirements, corporate governance and Victorian taxation laws.
2

Gather supporting documents

You must provide copies of any relevant documents to support your request and, if appropriate, a diagram explaining your corporate structure, including the place of incorporation of any corporations in the corporate structure. 

3

Lodge your application

Email 

Email your application, including any attachments, to technicaladvice@sro.vic.gov.au.

Mail 

Mail your application to:

Technical Advice and Review Branch
State Revenue Office
GPO Box 1641
Melbourne VIC 3001

or

Technical Advice and Review Branch
State Revenue Office
DX 260090
Melbourne

Next steps

We will consider your application and will contact you if we require further information. We will advise you in writing of the outcome of your application.