The appointment of the ATO as the new watchdog for Foreign Investors over residential real estate transactions has already unearthed almost 200 cases for investigation after only one month and it looks at though there will be more divestments to come. Clearly this watchdog has more teeth with access to data and the appropriate technology to deal with it. I expect there may be a lot more properties to come onto the market once word of this gets beyond our shores.
Just one month after the Government announced plans to strengthen foreign investment rules for residential real estate, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) already has 195 cases under investigation. -24 are foreign investors who have voluntarily come forward -40 cases relate to referrals from the community where members of the public suspect foreign investors may have broken the rules As part of the reforms the Government transferred all residential real estate functions from Treasury to the ATO. The ATO has the ability to cross reference its own data with third party sources, including FIRB, immigration, AUSTRAC and state and territory land title offices. The ATO has the capacity to cover more than 600 million transactions annually.