The Government’s tax policy programme has identified a need to review the current land sale rules. However, the current Habitual Buying and Selling of Land consultation document only addresses a problem with the regular pattern restrictions in the land taxing rules. CA ANZ believes a comprehensive review is more appropriate. Amending the land taxing rules on an ad hoc basis may create further distortions and impact the overall coherence of these rules.
Possible solutions are canvassed in the consultation document that will prevent taxpayers, who regularly buy and sell land, from structuring their land transactions to take advantage of the main home, residential and business premises exclusions.
Our key recommendations are:
- the proposed amendments should be limited to the main home or residential exclusions
- “group of persons or entities” should be clarified
- there should be some flexibility in the proposed amendments to allow for extenuating circumstances
- care is needed in widening/liberalising as to what may constitute a pattern
- a time period restriction of more than twice in three years should be given more consideration, and
- the proposed amendments should specifically state the exclusion does not apply where the property was for purchased for the intention of resale.