Thursday, 16 May 2019

A $1 billion hit to the Queensland budget as property market slides

A $1 billion hit to the Queensland budget as property market slides

A $1 billion hit to the Queensland budget as property market slides

Capricious and unconscionable outcomes for property owners in Victoria being slugged with massive Land Tax.

Capricious and unconscionable outcomes for property owners in Victoria being slugged with massive Land Tax.
This article reveals just how punitive the taxes are. And QLD of course is even worse as we know targetting Aussies with an Absentee Surcharge on top.

Capricious and unconscionable outcomes for property owners in Victoria being slugged with massive Land Tax.

Labor's economic failure puts Queensland to shame

Article revealing that Queensland is now 6th place in the State of States report released by Commsec. Opposition treasurer Tim Mander is scathing against Palaszczuk. Let's hope that she loses the next election and the Absentee Surcharge is scrapped and Queensland is put back on track.

Labor's economic failure puts Queensland to shame

Another real-life example of how a medical condition overseas could deem you an absentee

This is similar to what had occurred to me - this woman has been left stranded in Thailand after falling ill and unable to return to her country due to a 'not fit to fly' certification.

If she was an owner of a Queensland property then she could be facing an absentee surcharge and Land tax. As I was informed by Queensland Office of State Revenue, there is no exemption for medical conditions.

Seriously ill Scots Instagram model Rebekah Fulton remains stranded in Thailand over ‘fitness to fly’ certificate

$12.8 million tax driving investors to ditch Queensland homes

Here is the great report published by Brisbane Times Reporter Felicity Caldwell on 13 April, 2019.

Report reveals the $12 million tax grab taken from Queensland 'Absentees'

The Australian Property Council as well as Shadow Treasurer Timothy Mander express their harsh and justified criticism of this terribly unfair Labor tax.

Thanks to Craig Smith and Greg Fogarty for your contributions to the report.

$12.8 million tax driving investors to ditch Queensland homes

With shadow Treasurer Tim Mander criticising the Absentee Surcharge, I believe that this could pave the way to seeing it scrapped for Australian citizens should Queensland Liberal Party be re-elected.

Uncertainty continues - how the 6-month absence period is calculated - despite referring to "Reckoning of Time' interpretation.

QLD Labor gvt Jackie Trad treasurer treasury State revenue Land Tax

The Queensland Office of State Revenue have provided an explanation as to how they calculate the 6-month absentee period:

"Reckoning of time for absentee status

I note your questions in relation to the calculation of days in and outside of Australia for the purpose of assessing whether a person has been outside of Australia for more than 6 months, and therefore may be considered to be an absentee for land tax purposes.

Whether a person has been outside of Australia for 6 months is calculated on the number of days they have been absent from Australia. The number of days absent is calculated on the basis that their date of departure is excluded, and their date of return is included.

This is consistent with s.38(1) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Old), which provides guidance on how to calculate times set out in Queensland legislation.

Please note however, that the calculation of time alone is not sufficient to determine whether a person is an absentee. We will consider all relevant circumstances to determine whether a person ordinarily resides in Australia at the relevant 30 June".

I understand that OSR consider a number of factors. But, if the clinching determining factor by OSR came down to whether or not you were away for 6 months or more, it is important for us to know exactly how the 6 months period is calculated. OSR referred me to the Acts Interpretation Act and explained absence was calculated on number of days away.

Unfortunately, Section 38 does not provide sufficient clarification as to how the 6 month absence period would exactly be calculated.

One cannot assume that 183 days (half of 365 rounded to next number) would be exact. Each calendar month can vary in number of days, as well as February leap/non-leap years.

As we know, the Queensland Land Tax Act only specifies being absent for half a year, so the OSR's explanation does not assist much further. It shows yet again an area of ambiguity and open for individual interpretations.

I would suggest that for those who wish to return before the 6 month period is considered, they come back sufficiently earlier to have a buffer of several days/weeks.

Absentee Surcharge taxes determined on past and well as future travel behaviours and intentions

Labor government QLD Jackie Trad treasurer

The ambiguity of the Land Tax Act in respect to determining Absentee status has been acknowledged by the Queensland Office of State Revenue from a response to a complaint I submitted. Letter dated 13 May 2019.

Their justification is because, "While these provisions may seem ambiguous, specific criteria would not provide flexibility to fairly consider the wide variety of circumstances that may exist in a particular case".

The OSR explains how it determines status:
"The absentee provisions contain a series of considerations in determining whether someone is an absentee for land tax purposes. In the first instance, OSR considers whether a person ordinarily resides in Australia. This is the consideration set out in s.31(1) above. There is a wide range of information that may be taken into consideration in determining this, but the question can involve some degree of judgement based on the information available. Some types of information we consider include, but are not limited to:

• where a person states is their residential address, and how long they have lived at that location
• the location of a person's employment and the proximity of that employment to their residence
• which address a person uses to receive correspondence, and
• which type/s of visas have been held or applied for by the person both in a foreign country or Australia, as may be relevant.

If, after considering the relevant facts and circumstances, we can be satisfied the person ordinarily resides in Australia, then the person will not be considered an absentee.

If a person cannot provide sufficient information to satisfy us they ordinarily reside in Australia, then we consider the requirements in s.31(2) of the LTA i.e. where a the person was on 30 June of the relevant year or if they have been absent for more than 6 months in the year preceding.

Both of these considerations may assist us in forming a view on whether a person ordinarily resides in Australia.

In considering where a person ordinarily resides, a one-off short-term absence for a holiday would not negate the fact a person ordinarily resides in a home in Australia when their regular employment, social and/or family activities are conducted in Australia. If a person is absent from Australia for a more extended period, or there are multiple short-term absences across one or several years, a full consideration of the facts and circumstances may indicate that they are not ordinarily residing in Australia".

This reveals how confusing the legislation can be and how difficult it is for people to avoid becoming an Absentee.
Being in Australia for more than 6 months per year is not sufficient in itself, as is being in Australia on 30 June.

Multiple short term holidays away may well also cause the OSR to determine you are not ordinarily residing in Australia.

It also has been conveyed to me that that also extends to your past travel behaviour, that will apply to future financial years. Your future plans can also be taken into account by OSR.

It is a reverse onus of proof upon you to prove you are not an Absentee as opposed to OSR proving you are.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

QLD Labor Palaszczuk Curtis Pitt bulies bullying disgusting Australia

Today I received an email from Queensland Treasury Office of State Revenue. I have copied that email content below. As per my previous call and email questions sent to them I wanted to see if I could go overseas from 1 April to 30 June then from 1 July to end of December just shy of the maximum 6 month time limit. That way I can maximise my time away for respite. But come back to Australia to continue to reside here to avoid the taxes.

As you can read below, the revenue officer has decided that based off the advice I was seeking, they now have decided that I therefore do not ordinarily reside in Australia. Even though I would be less than 6 months away from Australia this financial year and the next. They would use the section relating to being out of Australia on 30 June as well, even though I was less than 6 months away.

Absolute bullying and threatening behaviour in my opinion and has sent me spiralling into depression. I feel trapped and helpless. They now are using this against me because I dared send questions to them. Not even set in stone. Just that.


Good morning Tyson

I am sorry that you feel that I did not answer your previous enquiry. I consider you may not have understood part of the content.

As outlined in my previous email, from 2018-19 year onwards, your land tax residency status was changed from absentee to natural resident effective 30 June 2018. This was based on your declaration that you had returned to reside permanently in Australia. Based on the content of your emails, I cannot be satisfied that you ordinarily reside in Australia since you are now seeking advice with the express purpose of maximising your time absent from Australia.

The outcome is that If you are absent from Australia for more than half of the 12 month period up to 30 June or you are absent from Australia 30 June, then you must advise the Commissioner of these change of circumstances (noting your declaration that you had returned to reside in Australia in June 2018). This will result in a reassessment of your land tax liability for land owned 30 June 2018 and a revision of your residency status to absentee.

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Amy Wiggins

Revenue Officer

Land Tax

Office Of State Revenue

Queensland Treasury
Phone: 1300 300 734


April 5 - posting made onto Facebook:

QLD Office of State Revenue - the revenue puppets of the Labor Party are playing with our lives with a pathetic non-advisory service. Spin the Wheel! It's like a Circus.

QLD Labor GVT Land Tax Office State Revenue Treasury Treasurer

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Questions sent to Queensland Office of State Revenue to seek clarification regarding Absentee status

I recently spoke to an officer at the Queensland Office of the State Revenue seeking clarification on issues surrounding the interpretation of legislation relating to being an 'Absentee' as per the Queensland Land Tax Act.

After not being given straight answers I became frustrated and exclaimed how on Earth was I able to organise my life when even the OSR cannot give me a straight answer? I explained that I did not want to be slugged with these taxes so wanted to know how I could avoid them.

One disturbing issue is that relating to the legislation where an individual can also be considered to be an Absentee when they are out of Australia on 30 June. I asked the officer if I was to take a trip out of Australia for 2 weeks but was absent on 30 June, would I therefore be considered an Absentee? She explained that other factors would be taken into consideration namely where my main domicile was considered to be - if Australia then she said in her opinion I would not be an Absentee.

I was told to put my questions in writing via email and send it through. It became abundantly clear that there is a lot of grey area with the legislation and confusion. The officer was unable to give me clear straight answers relating to my situation. The officer admitted that the legislation can be confusing.


Q. I wish to fly to Thailand in April 2019 and remain there for the rest of the financial year (which is up to 30 June). I wish to then continue staying in Thailand for a further period just short of 6 months so as not to exceed 6 months in a financial year and be subjected to the Land Tax & Absentee Surcharge.

Please advise if the following scenario will not be subject me to an Absentee status:

E.G. itinerary:

i) Depart Australia 1 April 2019 to Thailand. Remain in Thailand (or neighbouring South East Asian country) until 30 June 2019.

I believe I will not be subject to an Absentee Surcharge for FYE 2019 because I have not spent more than 6 months abroad in FYE 2019.

ii) Continue remaining in Thailand from 1 July for a period of less than 6 months (I will assume that I book a return flight for 28 December 2019)

I will return to Australia to reside until I am entitled to again travel abroad for another 6 months.

I believe that means I cannot leave Australia at all until 1 July 2020, being the next financial year.

Q. Do you also need to be in Australia on 30 June each year to avoid being an absentee?

Does this mean that not only do you have to be under 6 months abroad, but also not be outside Australia on 30 June?

Q. There is confusion among those affected by the Absentee surcharge as well as others who wish to/need to spend lengthy periods of time abroad - there is a belief that if you come back on the 30 June each year you can avoid the Absentee Surcharge.

I understand through our discussions that it is more complex than that. Can you please clarify this? People are going to be caught out and suffer these massive bills. The legislation is very confusing.

Q. Are there any exemptions that you would grant for being overseas longer than 6 months other than for the employment exemptions already included in the legislation?

For example: If I was not to remain in one country or any one place in a country for any extended time - just temporary accommodation - continually travelling about, would you then consider that because I have no permanent residence abroad, that my main residence in still in Australia? And hence not subject to the Absentee Surcharge?

Q. In relation to the maximum 6 month period allowed to be abroad can you please clarify:

What is determined to be 6 months? Is that in days? Or is it based on actual months away? There is confusion as to how this is calculated as well.

Q. Is my departure date from Australia counted as a day in Australia, despite it not being a full day in Australia?

Is my arrival date back in Australia counted as a day in Australia, despite it not being a full day in Australia?

E.g. I depart at 12.30am from Darwin - although I was only in Australia for 30 minutes of that day, is that still counted as a day in Australia?

E.g. I arrive at 11.55pm in Darwin - although I was only in Australia for 5 minutes of that day, is that still counted as a day in Australia?

Q: The legislation relating to absentees can be interpreted as meaning that in order to avoid being considered as an absentee, one needs to be back in Australia on the 30 June each year, along with meeting other criteria such as not exceeding the 6 months overseas.
Is this correct? Please clarify.

I am still waiting for a reply. The questions were submitted on 2 March 2019.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Travelling family demonstrate the disadvantages of being a QLD property owner

14 Feb 2019

6 month curfew punitive Curtis Pitt treasurer QLD

Just watched a TV program on the ABC 'Escape From the City' (Thu 14 Feb 2019)
Margaret River WA: The Kadamuses

"Deb and Milo have set their sights on finding their next home on the other side of the country. Presenter Jane Hall accompanies the couple as they inspect both rustic rural homes and modern chic dwellings. (2018)"

It may seem unrelated to our plights but it brings home the reality of the disadvantages and unfair treatment of Queensland property owners compared to those who own homes elsewhere.

It is an example of how Aussie owners of property in Queensland are going to feel the impact of the Absentee Surcharge and special rate Land Tax when more and more wish to take long vacations abroad past the 6 month limit imposed.

In the episode the couple were seeking a home in Western Australia and had plans at some point to travel for 12 months whilst renting their property out.

Now of course in Western Australia that is not a problem because there is no Absentee Surcharge. But it just deeply saddens me more that something so normal and exciting for a couple like travelling for 12 months abroad cannot be shared by Queensland property owners without it potentially financially destroying them in the special rate Land tax and Absentee Surcharge taxes.

Prisoners of the State we are. 6 months a year we must stay landlocked in Australia or we pay exorbitant taxes for the 'privilege' of being abroad longer. This is not freedom of movement. A punitive tax aligned to where you spend your time, for how long away and what you spend your money on.

A $1 billion hit to the Queensland budget as property market slides

A $1 billion hit to the Queensland budget as property market slides A $1 billion hit to the Queensland budget as property market slides