This program focuses on ensuring that first home buyers benefiting from any first home buyer duty concession or exemptions, such as the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme or the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), satisfy the eligibility and residence criteria.
All first home buyers who receive benefits under the schemes are matched against information held by third parties to determine that they have met these requirements. Applicants who are found to be ineligible for the schemes are required to repay the benefits, which may include penalties and interest.
Common errors for first home benefits (FHB) include recipients:
A property owner received the a first home owner grant on a property they owned but rarely stayed in. Their bed and belongings were at their parent's place.
The owner signed a statutory declaration claiming they resided at the property and supported this with energy and water bills, and bank statements, addressed to the property. However, the bank statements showed regular withdrawals from various sources near the parent’s house, and the water bills confirmed low water consumption.
It transpired that the owner was only visiting the property to take out the bins and collect the mail.
We were not satisfied that the owner met the residence requirement as they did not treat the property as his principal place of residence.
They had to repay the $10,000 grant, as well as an additional penalty. They also had to repay the stamp duty, with interest and a penalty.