Australia announced new punishments for foreigner investors breaking rules on buying property

May 4, 2015 15:39 IST

The Australian government on 3 May 2015 announced tough new punishments for foreigner investors who break rules on buying property in the country.

This was jointly announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey. Now, the Australian Taxation Office will handle all residential real estate data which will enable it to alert the government of possible breaches more effectively.

The new punishments include
• Up to three years in prison and fines of 127500 dollars for individuals and 637500 dollars for companies
• The third parties, including real estate agents and developers knowingly helping those buyers will also be penalised with fines of up to 42500 dollars for individuals and 212500 dollars for companies
• Foreign buyers who are forced to sell a property will be prevented from profiting from the sale.
• Foreign buyers will also have to pay a 5000 dollar fee to buy property in Australia which will be used to fund the policing of the new rules

Besides, the government has also asked the foreign investors who have illegally bought Australian properties to declare themselves by December 2015 or risk facing tough new penalties including three years' jail and fines of up to 637500 dollar.

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