Changes To The Main Residence Exemption Move Step Closer – the long awaited and reluctantly anticipated changes to the Main Residence Exemption has moved a step closer today with the House of Representatives passing the bill.

Unfortunately the bill, titled the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Bill 2019,  passed unopposed by the federal opposition even though former Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen went on the record before this years election expressing his concerns about the changes to the main residence exemption legislation and the retrospective nature of the changes.

The next step is for the bill to be introduced into the upper house for the Senate to consider. As there are only 5 more sitting days until the end of the year we would suspect that the government will prioritize this and will aim to get the bill through the upper house in the next 7-10 days.

When the bill was reviewed by the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills on the 13th of November they also raised concerns regarding the retrospective nature of the bill and commented that:

The Committee has a long-standing concern about provisions that apply retrospectively, including provisions that back-date commencement to the date of the announcement of particular measures (i.e. ‘legislation by press release’), as such an approach challenges a basic value of the rule of law that, in general, laws should only operate prospectively. The Committee has particular concerns where legislation will, or might, have a detrimental effect on individuals.

Atlas Wealth Management has been especially vocal about our opposition to these proposed changes (you can see a list of our articles on the topic below) due to the retrospective nature and that it will generate potentially large scale Australian expat tax liabilities.

What Canberra fails to realise is that information relating to Australian expat tax changes is especially hard to come by when you live and work overseas.

There will be a vast number of Australian expats who get caught up in these changes simply because they we not aware and were operating under the belief that the existing 6 Year Temporary Absence Rule was still in affect.

In our daily discussions with Australian expats, apart from those who follow our social media channels, very few people are aware of what has been proposed and the fact that they will lose the ability to claim the Main Residence Exemption, even for the period where they resided in Australia.

To review our previous articles about this punitive bill please see below:

 

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