Queensland's 2019-20 State Budget increased foreign land tax surcharge from 1.5 percent to 2 percent and expanded its application to include foreign corporations and trustees of foreign trusts. Amongst others, widening the tax base will catch foreign property developers with land holdings in Queensland and foreign companies and trusts that invest in developed land for their business or leasing activities.
In the February edition of Fundamental, we discussed our experience in obtaining ex gratia relief for some foreign property developers that bring capital investment, employment, and an increase in the housing stock to New South Wales. At this stage, there is no guidance on whether similar refund relief will be incorporated into the Queensland foreign land tax surcharge provisions. However, we expect the industry to push for a similar regime to apply.
For foreign landlords seeking to recover these tax increases against tenants, our lawyers can advise on your legal rights to do so. We can also assist with any changes required to leases to ensure these taxes can be recovered moving forward. Our Real Estate team is watching this space closely for developments. Please contact our lawyers if you have any questions about the changes or require further information.