• New GST rules – Purchaser GST withholding on sales of new residential premises

Under current law, GST is included in the purchase price of new residential premises and new potential residential (vacant) land, with the supplier/developer required to remit that GST to the ATO in their Business Activity Statement for the tax period in which the supply occurs - usually on settlement. In some cases (i.e. quarterly remitters) the GST on the supply is not remitted until three months after settlement.

As a result of ‘phoenixing’ activities, whereby some suppliers/developers have been collecting GST from purchasers on sale of properties and not remitting it to the ATO, the Government announced counter-legislative measures in the 2017-18 Budget.  The Government announced that under these measures, from 1 July 2018 purchasers of new residential premises or new potential residential land (e.g. new lots in new residential subdivisions) would remit the GST on the purchase price directly to the ATO as part of the settlement process.