Australians are sensitive to governments and conveyancers asking them for personal information but Commonwealth reporting requirements for property transactions demand that we have no choice if we’re buying or selling real estate.

Whether you believe the requirements are more like big brother or little brother, the fact is your conveyancer will need to get a degree of personal information from you and this article is a summary of what we must obtain.

Commonwealth reporting requirements for property transactions

The latest round of changes to Commonwealth reporting requirements for property transactions, all boil down to this:

  • For all property transactions, Eckermann Conveyancers has to provide certain personal information to the Federal Government and the ATO.
  • As a buyer, it is now mandatory for you to comply, and has been since September 1, 2017
  • As a vendor, it will be mandatory that you comply when you sell a property from January 1, 2018.

The reason these new requirements have been implemented, is to make sure all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and foreign residents, are complying with taxation laws within Australia with regards to property transactions.

These changes go hand in hand with the recent implementation of the Foreign Resident Capital Gains Tax withholding tax for all properties over $750K. You can read more about that at our article on the topic: How will changes to the Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding Tax affect you?

What do you need to do?

The short answer is, nothing.
The only change you will notice is that our file manager who is working with you will need to ask you for your date of birth and your nationality.Most of the information we need will be available to us through your Verification of Identity, however may have a need to ask you some further questions.

What do we do for you?

Eckermann Conveyancers will log on to the Commonwealth Portal before settlement and input the required information.

We are unable to settle your property without providing this information prior to settlement so it’s important you give us the information we need in a timely matter if requested.

The government says collection of this information will provide increased transparency into foreign investment and will provide it with improved monitoring of compliance in relation to Capital Gains Tax and other taxable events, so you can be sure this will continue to be stringently applied meaning the ball is in our court to make sure the requirements do not hamper settlement.

What happens if you don’t want you to provide your information?

Unfortunately, this is a legislated requirement from the Federal Government for all property settlements in South Australia, so we don’t have a choice.
As previously mentioned, we are unable to settle your property without inputting this information.
For more information, you can read the ATO’s privacy policy on their website and you can read our summary of Commonwealth Reporting Requirements here.

Image: Dishes by Pug50 via Flickr. CC BY 2.0