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From 1 July 2016 all vendors of property valued at $2,000,000 or more will be required to provide a purchaser with a clearance certificate from the ATO.
Where the vendor is a foreign resident the purchaser will be required to withhold 10% of the sale price as a foreign resident's Capital Gains Witholding Payment until the vendor provides an ATO certificate saying that the vendor has complied with its obligations to pay all tax payable by the vendor on the sale.
Where the vendor receives an option fee then there is no $2,000,000 threshold and any option fee paid to a vendor will be subject to withholding by the purchaser until the ATO provides the certificate of compliance regarding a foreign resident vendor.
All contracts for sale of land from 1 July 2016 will need to contain a provision relating to this new requirement.