February 25, 2016
Andrew Lovett


Foreign owners of agricultural land: Register now


Recent changes are outlined below:

July 1, 2022

  • Loss carry back for eligible companies extended to cover 2023 income year.
  • Professional firm profits diverted to the professional's spouse or other associates to be reviewed under new Tax Office guidance.
  • Corporate collective investment vehicle legislative regime introduced.
  • Temporary full expensing of depreciating assets extended to include 2023 income year.
  • Depreciable assets of a company joining a tax consolidation group have tax costs setting rules modified for assets depreciated under temporary full expensing rules.

December 9, 2021

  • Reduced Pandemic leave disaster payment of $750 per week made available through to 30 June 2022.

August 5, 2021

  • COVID-19 Disaster Payments are non-assessable non-exempt income in 2021 income year and later. Payments phasing out as vaccination rates increase.

July 1, 2021

  • New Investment Engagement Service launched for businesses planning significant new investments in Australia.
  • Tax Office small business independent review service made permanent for businesses with turnover < $10m, for income tax, GST, exercise, luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax and fuel tax credits. Requested  before amended assessment issued.
  • Small business income tax offset for individuals increased to provide a reduction of 16% for a tax payable up to $1,000.
  • Self-managed superannuation funds can now have six members, increased from four members previously.

July 1, 2021

  • Some COVID -19 state and territory business grants received by small and medium enterprises are non-assessable, non-exempt income for 2021 and 2022 income years.
  • Certain state, territory and local government financial support for individuals and businesses suffering COVID-19 impacts made exempt where businesses have turnover less than $50 million and only in eligible programs.

March 31, 2021

  • JobKeeper payments scheme ended.

October 5, 2020

  • Boosting apprenticeship commencements subsidy (up to 50% of apprentice's wages) is assessable income.

June 4, 2020

  • Homebuilder grant for new home or substantial renovation construction is not subject to income tax.

April 1, 2020

  • COVID-19 cash flow boost payments are not subject to income tax

Foreign agricultural land owners must notify the Tax Office if they hold agricultural land, acquire new agricultural land or dispose of agricultural land.  The new registration requirement came into force from July 2015 and all existing holdings must be registered by 29 February 2016.

The requirement applies to all “foreign persons” and includes an Australian citizen living permanently overseas that may be considered a foreign person as they are not ordinarily residing in Australia.  Foreign persons also includes foreign companies and trustees.

Where there are multiple owners of an agricultural land holding, each foreign owner has an obligation to register.  An agent may register on behalf of the foreign owner.

If the agricultural land is held under a lease with a remaining term (including options for renew or extension) likely to exceed five years, registration is required.

Land will meet the definition of agricultural land if it is used, or could reasonably be used, for a primary production business.

The following details must be provided:

  • Details of the owner;
  • FIRB approval number, if obtained;
  • Land location, size and usage details;
  • Land title information;
  • Date of the purchase, sale, etc.;
  • Sale price if transacted in the past twelve months; otherwise
  • The market value of the land including buildings or other structures;
  • How the registered owner holds its interest (individual, corporation, trust); and
  • Percentage ownership.

If you are an Australian resident, holding agricultural land and you become non-resident, then you must register within 30 days.  If you are a foreign person and become resident of Australia, you should apply to remove your details from the register.

Andrew and Tony Lovett

24 February 2016


Disclaimer: We believe this information to be correct at the time of publication. It is general in nature, for guidance only and is not intended to be personal advice. It should not be relied upon without obtaining professional advice regarding your direct circumstances. No responsibility can be accepted by any publisher, author, editor, contributor or consultant for loss occasioned directly or indirectly to any person acting or refraining from acting wholly or partly upon or resulting from the material in this publication nor for any error in, broken link or omission from the publication.

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