Foreign Residents and the Main Residence Exemption


Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Act 2019 (“the Act”) was given Royal Assent on 12 December 2019 and became Act No. 129 of 2019. This Act made changes, principally to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (“ITAA97”). Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act introduced changes that, broadly, remove the main residence CGT exemption from foreign (tax) residents of Australia.

The changes to the law made by the Act were part of a package of measures that have the intention of supporting the Federal Government’s policy of lowering the cost of housing in Australia. It could be concluded that this legislation aims to achieve this by giving individuals that are, or have become, Australian residents an opportunity to sell their main residence before they leave Australia and become a foreign resident, rather than maintaining ownership of the residence. This could, in turn, increase the supply of housing in Australia and thereby reduce the cost of housing.

Note: This In Depth topic focuses on main residences that are “taxable Australian real property”. It does not deal with other types of main residences such as caravans, houseboats or mobile homes.

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Format: PDF
Content: 32 pages
Author: Tax & Super Australia


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