Land subject to Surcharge
A foreign person who acquires land on or after 1 July 2022 is liable to pay FILTS for a financial year where the land is classified as General Land; and:
- is vacant land on which a building may be lawfully constructed and occupied as a place of residence (so that it will be capable of being lawfully used solely, or primarily, for residential purposes); or
- includes a building that is capable of being lawfully used solely, or primarily, for residential purposes; or
- includes a building (or part) which is being or has begun construction, refurbished, renovated or extended, if the work when completed will result in the land being capable of being lawfully used solely, or primarily for residential purposes.
Property that is not liable for FILTS includes:
- commercial properties being used as short-term accommodation (including hotels, motels, bed and breakfast, caravan parks, but excluding Airbnb or similar arrangements), hostels, boarding houses, housing provided by or on behalf of educational institutions, residential care facilities, and retirement villages; or
- industrial land; or
- land classified as Principal Residence Land under the Act; or
- land classified as Primary Production Land under the Act.
The Commissioner may make a determination, if satisfied with available information, that 50 per cent of the land is, or will be, capable of being lawfully used for residential purposes.
Meaning of 'residential purposes'
Although not defined under the Act, 'residential purposes' is taken by the Commissioner to include land on which a structure exists (or can be lawfully built) and which may lawfully be used or occupied by a person as their home or place of accommodation. Purposes ancillary to and consistent with a person's home or place of accommodation would also be considered as 'residential purposes'.