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First Home Super Saver Scheme - relocating overseas

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Hi -  I currently work in Sydney but  I'm being transfered by my company to Canada and wanting to purchase a house there.  Can I use the First Home Super Saver Scheme to help purchase this, or are there any geographical restrictions on where the home is located?   

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ATO Certified

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UPDATE

A recent amendment to the FHSS scheme has clarified that amounts withdrawn under FHSS can only be used to purchase an Australian property. Provided you meet the other FHSS eligibility requirements, the property which you purchase must be located in Australia. Purchase of property located outside of Australia is not eligible under the scheme.

 

It is important to note that this change applies from the start of the FHSS scheme, which began on 1 July 2018.

 

Keep an eye on our website for these updates.

 

Thanks, JodieH.

 

Hi @smar,

 

Thanks for your patience while our technical experts looked into this.

 

The FHSS scheme uses the definition for ‘residential premises’ (with some exceptions around certain types of properties – e.g. motor homes & houseboats) as provided by section 195-1 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999. The definition of a ‘residential premises’, in this legislation, doesn’t specify where a residential premises needs to be located.

 

So while there are no restrictions on the country in which you can buy a property, as @Anonymous has mentioned, your best course of action is to request interpretive advice prior to signing your contract for your purchase.

 

You can write to us at:

 

Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3100
PENRITH NSW 2740

 

You can also fax your request to 1300 669 846.

 

Thanks, NicM.

 

8 REPLIES 8

Moderator

Replies 7

Hi @smar,

 

This is a great question.

 

We've asked our technical experts to have a look at this and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Thanks, NicM.

Newbie

Replies 6

Hi Nic - do you have any updates on this?  Thanks

 

Moderator

Replies 5

Hi @smar,

 

We haven’t forgotten you!

 

Our technical experts are still looking into this. There are some points they need to check from the legal and technical aspect. As soon as we have a response, we’ll let you know.

 

Thanks, NicM.

Newbie

Replies 4

Hi - did you have any updates on this?  Thanks

Anonymous

Replies 3

Hi @smar

 

I think I know why the ATO have not responded to your question .... if you have not heard from the ATO by the middle of next week just reply to this ....

Newbie

Replies 2

Hi @Anonymous - I haven't had an answer yet and it's been 2 months already hence it doesn't appear to be something they can comment on...

Anonymous

Replies 0

Hi @smar

 

I have looked into this and I believe the reason why the ATO have not answered your question is because you have exposed a potential loop hole in the legislation !!!!

 

As long as you meet the eligbility criteria for the FHSS then you can purchase your first home anywhere in the world, it is not restricted to Australia.

 

The reason for this is because the issue of where you purchase your first home is not covered anywhere in any legislation or even the parilimentary bill or the explanatory memorandum to the bill, thats right it appears that everyone has over looked this issue.

 

Also have a look at this ATO forum response.  https://community.ato.gov.au/t5/General-tax-questions/FHSS-Eligibility/m-p/9550#M6627

 

Something you can do is to apply for Administratively binding advice  from the ATO and do it ASAP, because they have to apply the law as it stands, and that advice would probably be fouvarable to yourself.  As part of this maybe see a tax professional so everthing is well documented.

 

Other option is to just do it ... but seek tax professional advice to confirm what has been stated is correct .. 

 

If I was considering doing this I would  just retain Australian residency and not cut all ties with Australia until well after I received the funds from the FHSS.

 

Please do let me know if the ATO send you anything !!!

Best answer

ATO Certified

Moderator

Replies 0

UPDATE

A recent amendment to the FHSS scheme has clarified that amounts withdrawn under FHSS can only be used to purchase an Australian property. Provided you meet the other FHSS eligibility requirements, the property which you purchase must be located in Australia. Purchase of property located outside of Australia is not eligible under the scheme.

 

It is important to note that this change applies from the start of the FHSS scheme, which began on 1 July 2018.

 

Keep an eye on our website for these updates.

 

Thanks, JodieH.

 

Hi @smar,

 

Thanks for your patience while our technical experts looked into this.

 

The FHSS scheme uses the definition for ‘residential premises’ (with some exceptions around certain types of properties – e.g. motor homes & houseboats) as provided by section 195-1 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999. The definition of a ‘residential premises’, in this legislation, doesn’t specify where a residential premises needs to be located.

 

So while there are no restrictions on the country in which you can buy a property, as @Anonymous has mentioned, your best course of action is to request interpretive advice prior to signing your contract for your purchase.

 

You can write to us at:

 

Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3100
PENRITH NSW 2740

 

You can also fax your request to 1300 669 846.

 

Thanks, NicM.

 

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