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The Government has amended the goods and services tax (GST) law to ensure that sales by developers of residential premises constructed under certain arrangements, sometimes called development lease arrangements, will be taxable supplies of new residential premises. This will be the case even though, under the terms of the arrangement, there may have been an earlier ‘wholesale supply’ of the newly built premises to the developer.

The amendments also clarify that the subdivision or strata-titling of new residential premises, on its own, does not mean that the premises are no longer new residential premises. Similarly the subdivision or strata-titling of existing residential premises, on its own, does not cause the premises to become new residential premises.

Other than the amendment to s 40-75(1) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 which applies from 21 March 2012, the changes are retrospective from 27 January 2011 subject to certain specific transitional provisions.

The ATO has now published the administrative treatment that it will apply between 27 January 2011 and the date of Royal Assent (21 March 2012).

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