Australian residential property will now be less attractive to foreigners after the Federal Budget last night. As a large number of foreigners buy apartments off-the-plan in Queensland, this market for new apartments will be impacted by the changes, and the impact is negative.
The Government will remove the 50 per cent CGT discount for non residents on capital gains accrued after 7.30 pm (AEST) on 8 May 2012. The CGT discount will remain available for capital gains accrued prior to this time where non residents choose to obtain a market valuation of assets as at 8 May 2012. This measure would affect capital gains relating to taxable Australian property (e.g. capital gains from Australian real estate or interests in Australian land rich entities) which are realised by non-residents who would otherwise be eligible for the CGT discount (e.g. foreign individuals).
The Government will adjust the personal income tax rates and thresholds that apply to non residents’ Australian income. From 1 July 2012, the first two marginal tax rate thresholds will be merged into a single threshold. The marginal rate for this threshold will align with the second marginal tax rate for residents (32.5 per cent) and will apply to all taxable income below $80,000. From 1 July 2015, the same marginal rate will again rise from 32.5 per cent to 33 per cent.