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  • Effective from 1 March 2015, it became a requirement that if a Foreign Person’s cumulative holdings in Rural Land are equal to or exceed $15 million dollars, the Foreign Person must obtain Foreign Investment Review Board (‘FIRB’) approval to acquire or purchase any additional Rural Land.
  • On 3 March 2015 the Hon Joe Hockey MP issued a media release which stated that he had made an order under FATA for Golden Fast Foods Pty Ltd to divest its interest in an established residential property at 63-67 Wolseley Road Point Piper as the company did not follow the correct approval process under FATA when it acquired the property.
  • From 2 May 2015 the Australian Taxation Office (‘ATO’) commenced compliance activities to ensure that Foreign Persons who have invested in Australian residential property are meeting their obligations under FATA.
  • The ATO will be responsible for a register related to foreign ownership of agricultural land. Any Foreign Persons who buy or acquire an interest in agricultural land from and including 1 July 2015 must notify the ATO of the acquisition (within 30 days of the acquisition) and go onto the foreign ownership register.

Any Foreign Persons who prior to 1 July 2015 have:

  • an existing interest in agricultural land
  • a new interest in agricultural land
  • no longer have an interest in agricultural land,

must notify the ATO by no later than 31 December 2015 of their interest or otherwise so that this information can be put on the foreign ownership register.