It’s great to see the property market in South-East Queensland going in the right direction. With that comes an upswing in volume of transactions and GST consequences to consider.
GST and property has always been a touchy area and the Australian Taxation Office have remained active and vigilant in identifying problem transactions.
With the market now moving in the right direction we thought it a good time to set out the most common mistakes we see in the market by developers and professionals. So, here are 7 Common GST Mistakes on Property:
#1. CHARGING GST ON PRE-EXISTING RESIDENTIAL PREMISES.
For some reason this continues to happen almost 15 years after GST was introduced. If a developer sells pre-existing residential premises there will be no GST effect [they are input taxed supplies]. This is despite the fact that the developer is GST registered and selling to another GST registered developer. To be clear this only applies to pre-existing houses, units, apartments, etc … not land that may happen to be in a residential area.
#2. FORGETTING TO AGREE THE MARGIN SCHEME IN THE CONTRACT.
While most developers are aware that selling under the margin scheme can save GST on sale it is still often left out of the contract in error. The only way to fix this problem is to go to the purchaser after settlement to agree the margin scheme was used. You then still have an additional step in asking the ATO to waive the normal requirement to have this agreed prior to settlement. If this doesn’t occur you have lost the full 1/11th in GST on sale.
[Tip – make sure you can use the margin scheme in the first place]
#3. CLAIMING GST ON A RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY BEING BUILT WHERE YOU INTEND TO HOLD THE PROPERTY.
No GST can be claimed where you intend to rent out a property for residential rent. This is the case even if you intend to sell the property as new residential premises within 5 years of construction.
[Tip – make sure you have considered the cash-flow effect of not being able to claim back GST on construction costs]
#4. FIRST TIME OR PRIVATE DEVELOPERS REGISTERING AUTOMATICALLY FOR GST TO CLAIM CREDITS BACK.
When you undertake a development you need to consider whether or not you should register or if you are required to be registered for GST for your specific development. If you are subdividing land that you have held for a long term for a capital purpose such as rental, then you might not need to register for GST. If you choose to register for GST when you’re not required to by law you could be giving a lot of profit away by unnecessarily paying GST on the sale of the development property.
[Tip – do the maths and seek advice on your personal circumstances]
#5. IF A PROPERTY IS USED COMMERCIALLY THEN IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY ATTRACT GST ON SALE.
This is another common misconception. Traditionally with GST the type of property tends to determine the GST treatment. In other words you should look at the property and understand what its normal form and function is. Don’t just look at how the property is used. This will mean many properties used in a commercial way may not actually be subject to GST.
[Tip – you normally shouldn’t be charging GST to a commercial tenant in this circumstance or claiming back GST credits]
#6. IF YOU HAVE CHARGED OR PAID GST WHERE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE IS IT DIFFICULT TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?
We have dealt with numerous circumstances on both sides of the fence where we have been able to get a much better GST result. In some cases the ATO has been actively engaged with to ensure a good outcome.
[Tip – it’s still easier and less costly to get it right up front prior to settlement]
#7. IT’S TOO HARD TO GO TO THE ATO TO GET A PRIVATE RULING ON GST.
This is not the case. GST and property tend to be one of the more common rulings the ATO are asked for. They also tend to be quick to resolve where you know what information is required to be provided up front. This is one way to deal with contentious GST matters under contract.
We see these types of mistakes happening all the time [along with many others]. But now over to you, leave your comments below and tell us what other GST mistakes you have experienced on property.
Auction tips: Why and when you should auction
WHEN it comes time to sell your property, the age-old argument of auction versus private treaty naturally comes to the fore.
There is no one best practice but the general consensus among property professionals is both type of housing and market confidence play pivotal roles.
Core Logic RP Data auctions spokesman Kevin Brogan crunched combined capital city data over the 12 months to November 2015 and found higher valued and more unusual properties were taken to auction.
“If you have a house in a street and there are 10 others like it, you have a pretty good idea of what it’s worth,” Mr Brogan said.
“But if it’s unique or unusual you might not be able to pick what it’s worth so you take it to auction on the proviso there’s enough interest.
“Looking at the combined capital city data over the past 12 months to November, you see the general median price of houses that sold at auction is about $950,000.
“Sold by private treaty that median is $530,000, so that tells you a story about types of properties taken to auction.”
Digging further into the Core Logic RP Data digits, almost half (45 per cent) of houses sold at auction sold at a price of at least $1 million whereas only 12.5 per cent of houses sold via private treaty sold for more than $1 million.
“If you’ve got a property you think will be a successful property to take to auction, agents will tell you it offers the maximum chance of success,” Mr Brogan said.
“If you’ve got interested parties it brings matters to a head so it’s a very effective tool.”
Market analyst and buyers’ agent Simon Pressley of Propertyology agrees with Mr Brogan, adding strength of market is key.
“When I would go to auction would be in a rising market when you could be confident there’s going to be competition because of the state of the market, look at Sydney last year,” Mr Pressley said.
“And other times, it might be best if there’s something niche about it.
“That’s often why more expensive homes go to auction because it’s harder to compare $3 million homes to other $3 million homes.”
News Corp columnist and Ray White auctioneer Haesley Cush believes any property can and, with the right marketing, should be auctioned as long as the agent knows what they’re doing.
“Auction allows buyers and potential buyers to judge a property on the features and benefits without price involved,” he said.
“The alternative is that buyers disregard properties all the time based on a listed price attached to photos only to find it’s eventually sold for a price they would’ve paid.
“The stats we carry show auctions get more buyers through the door because they don’t have a price and are usually better promoted.”
Mr Haesley said auctions open up a pool of possibility rather than capping a property by price.
“If your property has no price on it, the value is the value you attract,” he said.
“Alternatively, if you put a price on it and it’s the wrong price then you’re wasting advertising money and time.”
TOP AUCTION TIPS FOR VENDORS:
• Visit your local Office of Fair Trading or Real Estate Institute website to educate yourself about auction rules and the process
• Experience is key so go to auctions to see how they work and what’s involved
• Research the market value of your property
• Select a realistic reserve price
• Only auction with experienced auction agents
• Talk to your agent and be honest with your feelings as it’s their job to support you through the process
• Don’t be disappointed if your property fails to sell on auction day. It is not a wasted effort.
Original Published On: http://www.couriermail.com.au/
Construction Begins On Sunshine Coast CBD
Construction officially began today on a new central business district for the Sunshine Coast, which is forecast to create more than 30,000 permanent jobs in the region by 2040 and provide a $5.9 billion boost to the Queensland economy over the project‟s 20-year life.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk turned the first sod on the prime 53-hectare SunCentral Maroochydore development site, which promises to showcase excellence in urban design, technology and innovation, including some Australian firsts, such as automatic waste collection.
SunCentral Maroochydore‟s Chief Executive Officer John Knaggs said the unique development represented a coming of age for the region.
“The Sunshine Coast is already the second highest performing regional economy in Queensland and the fifth highest nationally,” Mr Knaggs said.
“With the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital due for completion at the end of this year along with the planned expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport, the new city centre at Maroochydore will ensure we are rising to the challenge of growth, with a clear focus on jobs.
“The Sunshine Coast population has risen from 65,000 to 335,800 in the past 40 years and by 2040, well over half a million people are likely to call the region home.”
The Council-owned land would deliver more than $300 million in public space and infrastructure to the people of the Sunshine Coast.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the site on the former Horton Park Golf Club would be transformed over the next two decades to include commercial buildings, destination retail outlets, a premium hotel, civic facilities and an exhibition, convention and entertainment centre, with 40 per cent of the new city centre site dedicated to waterways and parkland.
“This is Australia‟s only greenfield CBD within an existing urban area, which provides us with the opportunity to build from scratch, a city centre that is able to meet the needs of people both now and in the future,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Applying our smart city framework – which includes digital solutions for the management of street lighting, car parking, water, power and signage that is detected by smartphones and other technologies, and where rubbish bins are emptied via automated underground tubes means SunCentral Maroochydore will become a nation-leading destination for innovative businesses.
“Importantly, given its significance to the Sunshine Coast, this is a project owned by the community. Independent expert analysis suggests our new city centre will grow our local economy by $4.4 billion over the life of the project.”
SunCentral Maroochydore‟s CEO said the project was vital to preventing urban sprawl on the Sunshine Coast and would deliver a viable commercial hub, public recreational facilities and an interconnected city.
“Urban sprawl has been a challenge on the Sunshine Coast for decades and SunCentral Maroochydore is about consolidating future development and delivering an outstanding city centre,” Mr Knaggs said.
Originally Published On: http://www.theurbandeveloper.com/
Coast real estate experts say property still on the rise
REAL estate identities say the Sunshine Coast market will continue to grow steadily, regardless of reports that the housing cycle has peaked.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley released research this week calling the peak and forecasting a slowdown in price growth, followed by a negative impact on building activity next year. (more…)
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