A Good First Step – New Foreign Buyers Bill

housesIt’s official the Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) Bill has been introduced into Parliament. The new law will see Land Information and Inland Revenue share the data collected on offshore residents. It may prove very useful in determining to what degree NZ real estate is used to launder money acquired from criminal activity.

On the REAA website there is two part article on money laundering and the risks to Real Estate Agents:

At least $1.5 billion and possibly up to $10 billion of criminal funds is laundered in New Zealand each year, including the sale and purchase of property.

Money laundering is big business and the Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) law is the first step in gathering useful data on all property sales transactions that can be used by the appropriate Government agencies to halt illegal activity and collect tax non residents should be paying.

Australia by contrast has protected it’s residents as best it can with harsh rules for non residents ownership of Australian property including:

Non-resident foreign investors are banned from buying an existing home, but temporary residents on visas of more than 12 months can buy an existing home to live in while they are resident in Australia. They must sell the home when their visa expires.

Maybe we’re getting a look at what’s likely to happen on our shores in a few years time. The starting point right now however is getting the law passed through Parliament – which is set to occur late September and be effective from 1st October 2015.

This blog article was written for PropertyBlogs by Mobilize Mail.

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