Foreign resident capital gains withholding payments - impacts on foreign and Australian residents
On 9 May 2017, the Government announced changes to the foreign resident capital gains withholding (FRCGW) rate and threshold. The changes will apply to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2017:
for real property disposals where the contract price is $750,000 and above (currently $2 million)
the FRCGW withholding tax rate will be 12.5% (currently 10%).
The existing threshold and rate will apply for any contracts that are entered into before 1 July 2017, even if they are not due to settle until after 1 July 2017.
Broadly, where a foreign resident disposes of certain taxable Australian property, the purchaser is required to withhold an amount from the purchase price (see note below) and pay that amount to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Note: the legislation specifies that the withholding is actually on the "first element of the cost base". However, as purchase price is understood by vendors and purchasers, and in many instances will equate with the "first element of the cost base", we have used the term purchase price for simplicity.