03 Jun 09 Vacant residential land not "residential premises" for GST - VidlerThe AAT has held that sales of two properties, each zoned residential but undeveloped and vacant at the time of sale, were not supplies of "residential premises" within the definition of that term in s 195-1 GST Act and were therefore not input taxed. The AAT held that residential premises require both shelter and basic living facilities, and only a building or structure of some kind can deliver those two necessary components. A vacant block of land is neither legally nor practically capable, in its condition as a vacant block of land, of being occupied as a residence or for residential accommodation.
In relation to the sale of a third property, the AAT held that an amount paid by the purchaser to the vendor as "compensation" for the purchaser's failure to complete the purchase under a previous contract, the payment of that amount being a fundamental condition of the sale contract, formed part of the consideration for the supply of the property. The compensation amount was therefore to be factored into the calculation of the "margin" for the purposes of s 75-10(2) GST Act: Re Vidler and FCT  AATA 395 (AAT, S E Frost Member, 1 June 2009).
For a copy of the decision, go here.