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Selling property over $2m? You’ll need a certificate

By Ben Faulks

If you are hoping to sell Gungahlin real estate valued in excess of $2million, you need to be aware of changes that are due to come into force next month. The regulations, which were first announced in 2013, will affect any property contract entered into on or after 1 July.

In order to sell property in this price bracket, you will need to get a clearance certificate from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This will outline that the ATO won't need to hold back 10 per cent of the property's value – unless you're an overseas investor.

The policy has been introduced to make sure international buyers are paying their fair share of capital gains tax. Assistant commissioner Malcolm Allen explained that to ensure the buying and selling process runs smoothly, it's important to apply for the certificate sooner rather than later.

Getting a clearance certificate is easy

The ATO has purposefully designed the clearance certificate application process to be as simple as possible. You can even fill it in yourself, or choose a reputable third party to assist you.

"The form is available to download through our website, and there is no fee for clearance certificate applications," Mr Allen confirmed.

Providing all the information you have given can be verified, you should receive the certificate within a relatively short time frame, meaning you can complete your sale of Gungahlin real estate as normal. However, if it turns out there are any factual inaccuracies, this will slow down the process and you might find yourself facing a penalty.

Once a clearance certificate has been issued, it will be valid for 12 months. After this period, it will be necessary to get another certificate drawn up, so it could be a wise idea to choose your timing wisely.

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