From 1 July 2017 all states and territories are required to collect additional data for real property transfers to contribute to a National Register of Foreign Ownership of Land Titles. This requirement is initiated by the Commonwealth Government and administered by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and will build on the Commonwealth’s existing National Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land. The ATO proposes to use the data for information-matching and ensuring compliance with the taxation laws of the Commonwealth.
The Lands Titles Office and RevenueSA are developing a state owned online Commonwealth Reporting Portal to collect and report the necessary data. The portal will be linked to RevNet from 1 July 2017 allowing data entered into the portal to automatically populate into RevNet.
Access the Portal here: www.revenuesaonline.sa.gov.au
Federal legislation requires all States and Territories to report property sales information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on a quarterly basis. Whilst initial reporting requirements commenced from 1 July 2016, reporting is to be extended from 1 July 2017 to include personal information that is not currently collected by the State when a property is sold.
From 1 July 2017 conveyancers and practitioners will be requested to provide to the State the following data for each transaction related to a property sale:
The collection of this information will provide increased transparency into foreign investment and will provide the Federal Government with improved monitoring of compliance with the administration of Capital Gains Tax and other taxable events.
The ATO has longer term plans to prefill data into tax returns, reducing the burden on taxpayers to determine amounts, where data can be sourced from State reported data.
It is also intended that legislative amendments will be introduced by the Government to mandate the collection of this data. If these amendments are passed then practitioners will be required to provide the data for any instrument that is registerable under the Real Property Act 1886. Consultation with industry groups will take place in relation to these amendments.
In South Australia, the Lands Titles Office in the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, and RevenueSA within the Department for Treasury and Finance are working together to develop processes and systems to support the collection of this information. A new State owned data Portal will be available from 1st July 2017 to enable conveyancers and practitioners to meet the obligation for reporting on property sales information.
Users will access the Portal directly or through RevNet. In early 2018 the Portal functionality will be extended to replace RevNet, supporting the electronic lodgement and online payment of Stamp Duty for all property transactions, including RevenueSA assessed transactions.
Transitional periods may be applied to the mandatory reporting of this data.
The requirement for a conveyancer or practitioner to conduct verification of identity checks for Property sales means that most, if not all, of the required information will already be available for input into the new Portal.
The extension of the Portal in early 2018 is intended to allow for electronic lodgement and payment of all stamp duty transactions online, and will result in the decommissioning of RevNet for stamp duty. In the interim period, RevNet and the new Portal will be integrated to avoid the input of duplicate data.
It is proposed that the finalisation of the system will see a new approach to providing evidence for stamping of documents/instruments in South Australia. Following legislative amendment, evidence of stamp duty payment will be provided in the form of a PDF Stamp Duty Certificate and a written unique reference number, thus eliminating the need for Slip Printers and manually completed rubber stamps.
This solution will provide the benefit of reduced stamp duty document types and will deliver other user benefits such as compatibility with mobile devices and improved visibility of the progress of Commissioner based assessments.
Additionally, the capacity to transact all real property through eConveyancing will be available, as each instrument will be allocated with a unique reference number, where currently eConveyancing is limited to RevNet self-determination documents.
Consultation with industry groups will occur throughout this process in order to minimise the impact and maximise the benefit of the proposed changes.