Bills to Tighten Foreign Investment Controls


Strengthening Regulations: Australian Government Introduces Bills to Tighten Foreign Investment Controls

In a move aimed at reinforcing oversight on foreign investment in residential properties, the Australian government has introduced new bills to amend regulations and fees. Here's a concise overview of the proposed changes and their potential impact on the real estate market.

Enhanced Fees Imposition Bill: Curbing Foreign Property Acquisition

Under the Fees Imposition Bill, amendments to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Act 2015 will result in significant fee adjustments. Specifically, fees for acquiring established residential dwellings are set to triple, while vacancy fees will double. These adjustments, scheduled to take effect upon the bill's commencement, seek to deter excessive foreign investment in the housing market.

Clarification Through the Foreign Investment Bill

Additionally, the Foreign Investment Bill aims to provide clarity on the taxation and fee framework surrounding foreign investment. By amending the International Tax Agreements Act 1953, the bill ensures that foreign investment fees and state property taxes supersede any conflicting provisions in Double Tax Agreements (DTAs). This measure, with a retrospective effect of six years, aims to streamline taxation regulations and promote transparency.

Implementation and Key Dates

The Fees Imposition Bill is slated to commence either on 1 April 2024 or upon receiving assent, whichever is later. Conversely, the Foreign Investment Bill's provisions will apply retrospectively from 1 January 2018, aligning with statute of limitation periods under State and Territory legislation.

These legislative initiatives underscore the government's commitment to regulating foreign investment and safeguarding the integrity of the Australian property market. As these bills progress, stakeholders should remain vigilant and adapt to evolving regulatory landscapes.

Source: Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment Bill 2024 and Treasury Laws Amendment (Foreign Investment) Bill 2024, Parliament website


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Written by Ideas Group

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