Budget Brief: Other
Digital currencies such as bitcoin have until now been considered to be akin to a barter arrangement, with similar GST consequences. As a result, trading with bitcoin could give rise to a form of double taxation for GST purpose.
With effect from 1 July 2017, changes propose to deal with digital currencies for GST purposes as if they are “real currencies”, ensuring that the purchase of digital currencies are not subject to GST.
Currently developers remit GST on the sale of new residential premises, however this is to be changed. The obligation to remit will be placed on the purchaser with effect from 1 July 2018.
Purchasers of newly constructed residential properties (or new subdivisions) will be required to remit the GST directly to the ATO as part of standard settlement processes in an attempt to increase remittance of the GST.
An annual charge will be imposed on foreign owners of residential property where the property is not occupied or genuinely available on the rental market for at least 6 months per year.
In addition, a cap of 50% will be applied to foreign ownership in new developments (multi storey and at least 50 dwellings) through a condition on New Dwelling Exemption Certificates. New Dwelling Exemption Certificates act as a pre-approval, allowing the sale of new dwellings to foreign persons without each foreign purchaser seeking their own foreign investment approval.
The above two changes take effect where the application is made from 7:30 pm (AEST) on 9 May 2017.
With effect from 1 July 2017 there will be some integrity changes to the small business CGT provisions to ensure they apply as intended.