Australian-based developers

In 2017, amendments were made to the Duties Act 1997, Land Tax Act 1956 and Land Tax Management Act 1956, providing for surcharge concessions to be provided to Australian-based developers who are foreign persons. The amendments are part of the NSW Government’s Housing Affordability Strategy and are designed to help maximise the supply of new dwellings.

There are two forms of concession:

  1. An exemption from the surcharge if it is satisfied that the land will be used for:
    1. construction and sale of new homes, or
    2. subdivision and sale for new home construction.
  2. A refund from surcharge where the foreign person has not been granted an exemption from surcharge but the land has been used for the above purposes.

An Australian corporation means a corporation that is incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001.

Application for exemption and refund

To apply for an exemption or reassessment, a written submission must be made outlining the relevant grounds. Documentation supporting the submission may also be required.

Submissions should be sent to Revenue NSW.

Refund will be made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Eligible applicants will be contacted with further information on how to proceed once their matter has been reviewed.

Frequent questions

How is it determined if an Australian-based developer is entitled to a refund?

Revenue Ruling G 013 provides guidance on the circumstances when the exemption will be granted or revoked.

If the exemption is granted, and surcharge has already been paid, you can apply for a refund.

Is there a time limit for reassessment and refund?

An application for refund must be made within 12 months of the home being sold or the issue date of the subdivision certificate and no later than 10 years after the acquisition of the land.

The 10 year timeframe applies to land acquired after 21 June 2016. If the completion of the land occurred before 21 June 2016, then a 5 year period will apply.


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Last updated: 20 August 2018