We recently had a case where a client bought a unit in the inner city some seven years ago. She claimed First Home Owner status thus receiving the First Home Owners grant (as it was back then) as well as a concession on Stamp Duty. The Contract was subject to a Tenancy which expired 3 months after settlement date. At the end of the Tenancy the Tenant negotiated another 3 month lease. The Tenant subsequently moved out and our client moved in and thought everything was fine. The client later sold the unit in 2010. In 2011 the client received notice from the Office of State Revenue demanding that they pay additional Stamp Duty, penalties, and interest of some $12,000.00 because she did not comply with the requirements for either the First Home Owners Grant or Stamp Duty concession. The matter is still ongoing in 2013.
On occasions, through an innocent oversight, clients may breach the requirements to qualify for a concession and that mistake can be costly. Other times clients think they will just “take the risk” because “what are the chances of being caught?” Well the chances are quite high actually. In this day and age the Office of State Revenue has so many aids available to them to be able to cross reference information eg Electoral role, taxation records, Rental Bond Authority etc that there is a high risk that you will be caught and unfortunately even innocent mistakes do not always meet with the sympathy of the Commissioner.