The Australian Government has announced that it will introduce a 60 percent capital gains tax discount (CGT) for investors in affordable rental housing.
The Government has released draft legislation to implement a number of housing affordability policies.
From January 1, 2018, residents investing in eligible affordable housing will be entitled to a CGT discount of up to 60 percent if they hold the investment for at least three years. The standard discount rate is 50 percent.
The Government also intends to permit managed investment trusts (MITs) to invest in affordable housing. Effective July 1, 2017, MITs will be permitted to hold affordable housing for the purpose of deriving long-term rent, and to derive other eligible business income from investments including shares or commercial property. MITs will be allowed to construct or develop the affordable property within the MIT.
Consistent with current MIT withholding tax rules, eligible foreign residents will generally be able to take advantage of a reduced withholding tax of 15 percent on investment returns, including income from capital gains. However, this concessional rate will not apply to capital gains income derived from selling affordable housing held for less than 10 years.
However, from 16:30 AEST on September 14, 2017, MITs will not be permitted to acquire residential property, unless it qualifies as affordable housing. The aim is to prevent MITs from investing in houses, units, and apartments to hold for long term rent (other than affordable housing). It is also intended to clarify the long-standing convention that the primary purpose of the MIT concessional tax treatment is to apply to passive investment income.
MITs currently holding residential property will be provided with a transitional period until October 1, 2027, for their existing property assets.
To qualify for the higher discount and MIT concessional tax treatment, affordable housing tenancies will need to be managed by a registered Community Housing Provider. Housing providers will determine the tenant eligibility criteria, including the rent charged, consistent with state and territory affordable housing policies.
Hungary and Kyrgystan have begun DTA negotiations, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced on February 28, 2018.
Morocco and Cape Verde will begin DTA negotiations in March 2018, Morocco's Tax Agency announced.
The DTA signed between Mexico and Saudi Arabia entered into force on March 1, 2018, following the publication in Mexico's official Gazette of a law ratifying the agreement on February 26, 2018.
Bangladesh and Morocco signed a DTA on March 1, 2018.
Meeting over two days ending February 28, 2018, representatives from Pakistan and the Philippines agreed to renegotiate their DTA.
The UK and Mauritius signed a DTA on February 28, 2018.
Singapore signed a DTA with Tunisia on February 27, 2018.
Bahrain's King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, has approved a law ratifying the DTA Protocol signed with the Philippines, state media reported on February 20, 2018.
The Luxembourg Government on February 23, 2018, reported it is pushing for the negotiation of an amended DTA with Oman.
According to a monthly update from the Mexican Government, Mexico's DTA with Jamaica entered into force on February 24, 2018.
According to preliminary media reports, Switzerland's upper house of parliament of February 26, 2018, approved laws to ratify the DTAs signed with Kosovo and Pakistan and a Protocol with Latvia.
The Luxembourg Government announced that it is engaged in DTA negotiations with 15 countries, in a January 29, 2018, update, including newly DTA negotiations with the UK.
Ireland and Ghana signed a DTA on February 7, 2018.
According to a statement from the President's office, Iran's Cabinet on February 18, 2018, approved the signing of DTAs with Sweden, Lithuania, and Japan.
On February 19, 2018, the Philippines Senate adopted three resolutions ratifying agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with Mexico, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
Japan and Spain have agreed a DTA in principle, to replace their existing pact, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced February 21, 2018.
The Armenian Ministry of Finance said February 22, 2018, that a DTA had been initialed after four days of negotiations with Iraq.
India's Ministry of Finance on February 22, 2018, revealed that an updated DTA between India and Kenya had been published in the Official Gazette, to replace the agreement in place between the two countries since 1985.
South Africa's DTA Protocol with Brazil entered into force on February 10, 2018.
Moldova's Cabinet on January 31, 2018, approved a law to ratify the DTA signed with Georgia in November 2017.
According to preliminary media reports, Kazakhstan's Senate on February 15, 2018, approved a law to ratify a Protocol to the DTA with Azerbaijan.
Poland published an order in its Official Gazette on February 8, 2018, to bring the DTA signed with Ethiopia in 2015 into force. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2018.
Paraguay's Government on February 11, 2018, announced the signing of a DTA with Qatar.
Guernsey's TIEA with Portugal will enter into force March 15, 2018, according to a February 20, 2018, update from the Guernsey Government.
The Botswana Government has announced that the country will sign a DTA Protocol with Zimbabwe by the end of the year.