Some 125 foreigners dob themselves in under ATO FIRB amnesty

Some 125 foreigners dob themselves in under ATO FIRB amnesty
Some 125 foreigners dob themselves in under ATO FIRB amnesty

Some 125 foreign investors have taken up an amnesty from the Australian Tax Office to declare their unauthorised ownership of real estate in Australia, according to documents obtained by Guardian Australia under a freedom of information request by the website.

The 125 investors have declared their status ahead of the FIRB deadline expiring on 30 November, the documents show.

A spokeswoman for the ATO repeated it had separately identified about 500 potential breaches of foreign investment laws it was investigating, a number of them from these disclosures.

Breaches of Australia’s foreign property investment laws prompted former Treasurer Joe Hockey to announce in September five forced sales of properties purchased by overseas buyers.

The former Treasurer then said 500 FIRB investigations are underway into more than $1 billion worth of residential real estate.

Tax commissioner Chris Jordan announced the investigations at a press conference with Joe Hockey.

They advised the properties to be sold are in Labrador on the Gold Coast, Ardross in Perth, Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay, Underdale in Adelaide and the Brisbane suburb of Stretton.

They were acquired unlawfully by foreign nationals from Singapore, Indonesia, the UK and China.

They voluntarily came forward under the amnesty announced in May.

The highest purchase price was $8.1 million, understood to be a penthouse in Elizabeth Bay.

The cheapest was a $265,000 property.

They have 12 months to sell the properties under the amnesty that ends of November, Joe Hockey said.


Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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