The Law Society of NSW Specialist Accredititation 

BLOGS

Any information contained in a blog on this website is general in nature only. The content of any blog posted below reflects information which is known to us as at the date of the posting of the blog. Please be aware that the law regularly changes. Please do not rely on the general information contained in the below blogs, instead we recommend that you contact us to obtain legal advice tailored to your own specific situation.

 

Jun23

Review of Discretionary Trust Deeds

Amanda Quin - Tuesday, June 23, 2020

If you hold or intend to hold real estate in NSW via a Discretionary Trust and wish to avoid foreign persons surcharges then you need to review your Trust Deed and if necessary amend your Trust Deed before 31 December 2020.

Foreign person surcharge land tax is an annual tax and it applies to real estate in NSW which is held by foreign persons. Likewise, foreign person surcharge duty is an additional stamp duty which foreign persons pay, when they purchase property in NSW.

Even though you may be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, if you hold property via a discretionary trust, then you need to be aware that all discretionary trusts are deemed to be a foreign person unless the trust deed has specifically and irrevocably excluded foreign persons from being eligible beneficiaries of the trust.

The NSW Legislative Council passed the State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2020 on 18 June 2020.

This legislation specifies that 31 December 2020 is the deadline for you to review your trust deed and potentially amend it to exclude foreign persons, in order to avoid the need to pay foreign person surcharge land tax and foreign person surcharge stamp duty.

Accordingly,  assuming you are prepared to exclude foreign persons from being a beneficiary of your trust, then  you should review and where necessary have your Trust Deed amended before the deadline of 31 December 2020.

Please contact Andrew Graham (email amg@peacockes.com ) or Jeremy Tooth (email jrt@peacockes.com ) or phone our office on 02 6882 3133 if you would like our assistance to review your Trust Deed.

Jun23

The NSW Legislative Council passed the State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2020 on 18 June 2020.

This is particularly relevant if you own real estate in NSW or are likely to own real estate in NSW and have  been thinking about leaving your property to your beneficiaries via a testamentary trust.

If this applies to you - then you you need to consider the effect of potential foreign persons surcharges when making your Will.

From 1 January 2021, if you leave NSW real estate in a testamentary trust, then the foreign person surcharge land tax (which is an annual tax) will apply to that property unless you have specifically and irrevocably excluded foreign persons from being eligible beneficiaries of the trust.

Likewise if the trust were to purchase any property, the foreign surcharge duty would apply.

This may not be particularly important if you are certain that none of the potential beneficiaries would be foreign persons, as in such a case an appropriate exclusionary clause can be included in your Will.

However,  if your intended beneficiaries are foreign persons or even if they might marry foreign persons, then to allow your testamentary trust its greatest level of flexibility, (and subject to you not being a foreign person) you should consider executing your Will before 31 December 2020 (ie this year) - so that it is not caught in the changes that will apply from 1 January 2021.

Please contact Andrew Graham (email amg@peacockes.com ) or Jeremy Tooth (email jrt@peacockes.com ) or phone our office on 02 6882 3133  if you wish to obtain advice on this issue or your succession planning.

Jun23

HomeBuilder Grant - new builds and renovations

Amanda Quin - Tuesday, June 23, 2020

 

If you are building a new home or substantially renovating an existing home which is or will be your principal place of residence then you may be eligible for a $25,000 grant under the HomeBuilder program.

You do not need to be a first home buyer to be eligible to receiver a HomeBuilder grant, but if you are first home buyer, then you may be able to obtain this grant on top of other first home concessions.

Eligibility Criteria in NSW

Each Applicant must be an Australian Citizen who is 18 years old or older (not a company or trust). 

The Applicant(s) must meet one of the following two income caps:

  • $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on their 2018-19 tax return or later; or
  • $200,000 per annum for a couple based on both of their 2018-19 tax returns or later.

The Applicant(s) must enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either:

  • build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value (house and land) does not exceed $750,000; or
  • substantially renovate their existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of the existing property (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million.

 

Construction must commence within three months of the building contract date.

The registered or licensed builder may need to demonstrate that the contract price for the new build or substantial renovation is no more than a comparable product (measured by quality, location and size) as at 1 July 2019.

If the contract is for renovations then the building works must improve the liveability, accessibility or safety of your home (ie swimming pools, sheds and similar structures not connected to the house will not count).
 

NB Owner-builders and those seeking to build a new home which will be used as an investment property, or renovate an existing home which is an investment property, are not eligible.


 

 

 

Jun23

Helpline for Domestic Violence

Amanda Quin - Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The NSW government operates a Domestic Violence Helpline to assist people who feel unsafe at home.

The number for the NSW Domestic Violence Line is 1800 65 64 63.

They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Interpreters are available and all calls are confidential.

If you are hearing impaired, call the National Relay Service on 133 677.