Looking to invest your well-earned cash? Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS discusses the pros and cons of investing in shares versus property and offers advice on making a practical decision to get your wealth portfolio into shape.
Are you an Aussie citizen looking to acquire property in Asia? Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS highlights differences to consider when renting or buying in Asia versus Australia.
Are you liable for paying land tax on your Australian property? Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS answers this question and discusses the circumstances under which one could qualify for land tax exemption in Australia.
Looking to buy a property in Australia and wondering if you should do so under your personal or company name? Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS offers his professional expertise on the matter.
The use of structures is not for everyone, and the complexity of a structure may not be warranted for a simple property investment. Seek professional advice prior to any decision about a structure. Not only can it affect future tax considerations, but it may have an adverse effect on your finance options as well.
Are you looking to send funds to family back home in Australia but worried about being taxed for it? Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS offers his professional expertise on the matter to clear up any doubts you may have.
Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS discusses why the current low interest rates in Australia attract foreign investors eager to enter the Aussie property market and just waiting for the low.
Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS shares his professional wisdom and thorough review of the recent Australian elections and discusses the repercussions for Australian expat and foreign investors.
- Changes to the Exempt Income Rules in July 2009 to capture as taxable income any earnings by Australians working abroad temporarily.
- A more aggressive interpretation of residency rules by the Australian Taxation Office.
- Removal of the Foreign Buyers Restrictions, thereby lifting maximum sales restrictions of the previous 50 percent of apartments and allowing 100 percent sales to foreigners in any project.
- Removal of the 50 percent tax free concession on capital gains for foreign investors and expatriates from May 2012.
Overall, the Liberal Party regaining power has had an immediate effect, with business and consumer confidence indicators already rising this early in the changeover. This is because in the last two years in particular there has been a tendency for buyers to procrastinate under the uncertainty of the political situation. As such, we may see a strong surge of activity in a low supply market that will put prices under upward pressure. If the Liberal Party can restore trust, confidence and stability, then the natural strengths of the Australian economy will shine through to enhance the nation as a desirable and investment-safe country.
Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS discusses the circumstances under which you may need to lodge an Australian tax return as an Aussie citizen living in the Lion City.
Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS shares his professional expertise and opinion on the recently implemented Aussie Capital Gains Tax changes and discusses the repercussions for Australian expats and foreign investors.
On May 14 this year, Australian Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan presented his sixth federal budget in Canberra. The previous year the government had promised a surplus return from efforts to take advantage of the mining boom and share prosperity with all Australians. This, however, did not occur. Instead, the Labour government delivered its sixth consecutive deficit of an estimated A$19.4 billion – a large variance from the expected A$1.5 billion surplus announced 12 months earlier. This follows last year’s A$44.4 billion deficit, which was higher than the original budgeted deficit amount of A$22.6 billion.
Rather than the announced return to surplus, the federal government is now expected to stay in deficit for a few more years, with expected debits of A$18.0 billion in 2013/14 and A$10.9 billion in 2014/15 before an expected small surplus of A$0.8 billion in 2015/16. In the 2012 budget, revenue was expected to grow by 11.7 percent, largely on the back of the new mining and carbon taxes. Although both of these taxes misfired, the government did achieve an impressive 6.2 percent increase in revenues, which perhaps would have been a more realistic level to forecast in the first place.
This revenue uplift does give hope for a potential return to surplus, which is essential to assist in repaying the build-up of government debt since the global financial crisis in 2008. Below is a breakdown and review of actual and budgeted forecasts from 2011-2014.
Expenses are set to rise sharply in 2013 and 2014, increasing by 6.5 percent per year. GDP growth in Australia was in line with forecasts, and, by world standards, unemployment remained low at the forecasted level of 5.5 percent. Inflation was the winner over the year, coming in at 2.5 percent against a budgeted 3.25 percent. This was due to a sluggish domestic economy, with prices kept low, and a high Australian dollar, which made imports cheaper.
- University fees payment discounts of 10 percent upfront and five percent will cease from January 1, 2014.
- A new 10 percent non-final withholding tax will be kept from Australian property sales of over A$2.5 million, pending lodgement of the tax return and calculation of any capital gains tax payable. The extra will be refunded or the shortfall charged.
- Tightening of current thin capitalisation rules that help offshore investors through companies and trusts pay a 10 percent interest withholding tax rather than the higher corporate rate of 30 percent or the personal tax rates from 32.5 percent.
- Improved computer data matching capabilities for the Australian Taxation Office to track property rentals and sales to ensure tax returns are being lodged.
- Additional funding for the Australia Taxation Office to review offshore business holdings where tax avoidance may be taking place.