A new penalty regime targeting foreign investors has seen 500 overseas property buyers issued with penalty notices and told to pay the Australian Taxation Office $2.7m in fines.
The majority of breaches occurred in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
In December 2015 the federal government introduced a range of new penalties for foreign investors, including new civil penalties supporting divestment orders, fines for third parties who knowingly assisted foreign investors to break the rules, and fees for foreign investment applications.
The Australian Taxation Office confirmed on Sunday that since then, 500 penalties were issued for 700 offences, including failing to get Foreign Investment Review Board approval before buying. Penalties were also issued to those who breached a condition of previously approved applications, for example temporary residents failing to sell their properties once their visa expired.
The treasurer, Scott Morrison, has also approved the required sale of 61 foreign-owned properties, worth over $107m.
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