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  • Capital gains withholding clearance certificate application online form and instructions – for Australian residents

    Australian resident vendors should use the foreign resident capital gains withholding clearance certificate application form to notify us foreign resident capital gains withholding doesn't need to be withheld from the sale of taxable Australian real property (the asset). It provides the details of vendors so we can establish their tax residency status.

    If you are a foreign resident, do not lodge an application – if you are entitled to a variation to your CGT liability, lodge a variation request.

    Next step:

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    On this page:

    When to use the form

    The form needs to be completed and lodged with us as early as practical. The vendor will have to provide the purchaser with an ATO issued clearance certificate on or before the day of settlement of the sale of the asset to ensure no withholding occurs.

    Each vendor must lodge their own application. Vendors who are parties to the same property transaction are not able to lodge joint applications.

    Who can complete and lodge

    A clearance certificate application form should be completed and lodged by Australian resident vendors who don't wish to have an amount withheld by purchasers.

    The entity that has legal title to the asset, is the entity required to obtain a clearance certificate for foreign resident capital gains withholding purposes.

    Where a purchaser acquires an asset through a sale or transfer, the vendors are the individuals and/or companies that have legal title to the asset prior to the sale or transfer.

    For trusts and superannuation funds, if the entity that has legal title to the asset is:

    The trustee (with no mention of the trust/fund or 'in holding the property on trusti) – then it is the trustee, in their own capacity as either a company or an individual, that should apply for the clearance certificate using their own tax file number (TFN) and/or Australian business number (ABN) as the identifier (if they have one). It is recommended to include the Australian company number (ACN) as an attachment (if they have one).

    Example 1

    ABC Pty Ltd is the corporate trustee of the XYZ Family Trust. ABC Pty Ltd currently holds a parcel of land in its capacity as trustee on behalf of XYZ Family Trust. The certificate of title is solely registered in the name of ABC Pty Ltd (with no mention of the XYZ Family Trust). ABC Pty Ltd should apply for a clearance certificate in its own capacity as a company using its own TFN or ABN (if it has one) and ACN.

    End of example

    Example 2

    Joe Bloggs is the trustee of the LMN Family Trust. Joe Bloggs currently holds a parcel of land in his capacity as trustee on behalf of LMN Family Trust. The certificate of title is solely registered in the name of Joe Bloggs (with no mention of the LMN Family Trust). Joe Bloggs should apply for a clearance certificate in his own capacity as an individual using his own TFN.

    End of example

    Where a purchaser acquires an asset that has been granted (such as a lease), the vendors are the grantors of the asset.

    Vendors may either complete and lodge the form themselves, or have it completed and lodged on their behalf by a third party (for example, a solicitor, an accountant, or a tax agent).

    Conveyancers, real estate agents and other persons charging a fee for services can't complete the form on behalf of the vendor unless they are a legal practitioner or registered tax agent. But a vendor may provide a completed paper PDF version of the form to a conveyancer, real estate agent or other person charging a fee for service, who should enter the details in the online form (providing faster processing) as part of the settlement process they provide the vendor.

    How to complete the clearance certificate application form

    You can't save an incomplete clearance certificate application form and return to complete it at a later date – the form must be completed and submitted in one session.

    These instructions explain how to complete each section of the form, lodging your application and what happens next.

    The foreign resident capital gains withholding clearance certificate application is a smart form and will request specific information based on the information you provide. Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

    Help is available in the top right-hand side of the form. If you are unsure of how to complete this form after reading these instructions, you can phone us on 13 28 66.

    Form sections:

    1. Application type

    This question determines if you are submitting the application as a vendor of the asset or their representative (for example, lawyer or accountant):

    • *Are you submitting this application as a vendor of the asset or their representative? – select vendor or vendor's representative.
    • Conveyancers who are simply keying the form on behalf of a vendor should select 'vendor'.
    • Expected settlement date of the asset – enter the date of settlement for the sale.

    The following option is presented at the end of the application type section – Next (to proceed to the:

    • vendor details section of the form if the applicant is the vendor
    • contact details page if the applicant is the vendor's representative).

    2. Who can the ATO contact about this form

    If you're submitting the application as the vendor's representative, you must provide your contact details. This allows us to contact you to resolve any issues and process the form in a timely manner.

    We will provide the contact person with a copy of the 'Clearance Certificate Application' decision at the same time as we provide it to the vendor.

    If you're a conveyancer who is not a legal practitioner or tax agent, you can be the contact for the purposes of the form. However, you will not be able to answer questions, by way of tax advice in relation to the application, we may ask.

    If questions are asked, we would expect that you relay these to the vendor, the vendor can then provide you answers and you can communicate the vendor's answers to us. Alternatively, you may ask us to contact the vendor directly should further questions be raised.

    The contact detail fields are:

    • Title – select the title of the contact person from the list provided
    • First name – the first name of the contact person
    • *Last name – the last name of the contact person
    • Job title – the job title of the applicant, which may also be used to disclose the relationship between the applicant and the vendor
    • Contact email address – the email address for the contact person. By providing an email address, you are authorising us to respond to you by email. If you don't provide us with an email address, it may take longer to provide information to you
    • Contact phone number – the contact person's phone number (including area code). Don't include brackets () or spaces in your entry
    • *Address – the contact's address, including the suburb/town/locality, state/territory, postcode and country.

    Note: It is mandatory to provide at least either the business hours phone number, contact email address or address.

    The following options are presented at the end of the contact details section:

    • Back – to return to the last screen that had been viewed
    • Print friendly version – to print the details that have been entered into the form
    • Next – to proceed to the vendor details section of the form.

    3. Vendor details

    The vendor should be the entity that has legal title to the asset.

    Note: For trusts and superannuation funds, if the entity that has legal title to the asset is:

    • The trustee (with no mention of the trust/fund or 'in holding the property on trust') – then it is the trustee, in their own capacity as either a company or an individual, that should apply for the clearance certificate using their own tax file number (TFN) and/or Australian business number (ABN) as the identifier (if they have one). It is recommended to include the Australian company number (ACN) as an attachment (if they have one).
    • The trust or the trustee in the capacity of the trustee of the trust – then the entity is the trust that applies using the TFN and/or ABN of the trust as the identifier (if they have one).

    Providing as much detail as possible reduces the likelihood of us having to contact the nominated contact person in section 2 (if completed).

    The vendor details fields are:

    • TFN – enter the vendor's TFN. While you're not required to provide the vendor's TFN, providing your TFN (or ABN) assists us in identifying the vendor in our records which means that we can process the application faster.
    • ABN – enter the vendor's ABN. While you're not required to provide the vendor's ABN, providing your ABN (or TFN) assists us in identifying the vendor in our records which means that we can process the application faster.
    • *Entity type – select the entity type of the vendor from the list. The entity that has legal title to the asset, is the entity required to obtain a clearance certificate for foreign resident capital gains withholding purposes.

    Please follow the note above when there is a trust or superannuation fund involved.

    • Only select 'other' if the vendor is not an entity of one of the specified entity types.
    • If the entity type of the vendor is a company, the company detail fields will appear    
      • *Company name – the legal name of the company (that is, the name under which the vendor is incorporated as reflected on the certificate of title)
      • Business name (if applicable) – the business name or trading name of the vendor
      • Ultimate holding company – the name of the ultimate holding company of the vendor. This is the company that has ownership and controlling interest over the whole group of companies of which the vendor is a member.
       
    • If the entity type of the vendor is an individual, the individual detail fields will appear    
      • Title – the title of vendor
      • First name – the first name of the vendor. This field isn't compulsory, but if you fail to complete it, your clearance certificate will not match your certificate of title.
      • Other given names – if an individual has another given names reflected on the certificate of title, they should include these in the 'First name' field (using a space between the names), so the clearance certificate matches the certificate of title.
      • *Last name – the last name of the vendor.
       

    If there has been any name changes of the vendor, details can be electronically attached at section 5 Attachments.

    • *Date of birth – the date of birth of the vendor in dd/mm/yyyy format or select from the calendar icon
    • Contact email address – the vendor's email address. By providing an email address you are authorising us to respond to you by email. If you don't provide an email address, it may take longer to provide information to you
    • Contact phone number – the vendor's phone number (including area code). Don't include brackets () or spaces in your entry.
    • If the entity type of the vendor is an 'other' entity, the 'other' entity detail fields will appear    
      • *Entity Name – the legal name of the vendor as reflected on the certificate of title
      • Business name (if applicable) – the business name or trading name of the vendor.
       
    • If the entity of the vendor is a trust, the trust detail fields will appear    
      • *Trust Name – the legal name of the vendor as reflected on the certificate of title
      • Trustee Name – the legal name of the entity that is the trustee of the vendor.
       
    • If the entity type of the vendor is a superannuation fund, the superannuation fund field will appear    
      • *Superannuation fund name – the name of the superannuation fund as reflected on the certificate of title.
       
    • Vendor contact details – these fields appear when the vendor is a company, trust, superannuation fund or 'other' entity    
      • Title – the title of contact person
      • First name – the first name of the contact person
      • *Last name – the last name of the contact person
      • Job title – the job title of the contact person
      • Contact email address – the email address of the contact person. By providing an email address, you are authorising us to provide information to the vendor by email. If an email address isn't provided, it may take longer to provide information to the vendor.
      • Contact phone number – the contact person's phone number. Don't include brackets () or spaces in your entry
      • *Address – enter the contact person's address, including the suburb/town/locality, state/territory, postcode and country.
       
    • *Changes to residency status – this provides information on changes to the vendor's residency status since lodging their last tax return or any change before the property is sold. Select one of the following    
      • 'Yes' if the vendor's residency status has changed since lodging their last tax return or will change before the property is sold
      • 'No' if the vendor's residency status hasn’t changed since lodging their last tax return or won't change before the property is sold.
       
    • *Lodgment of tax returns for the last two years – this provides information on whether a tax return was lodged by the vendor for both the last two years. Select one of the following    
      • 'Yes' if the vendor has lodged both tax returns for the last two years
      • 'No' if the vendor has not lodged their Australian tax return for the last two years, and the due date for lodging returns for those years of income has passed.
       
    • *Holding property on behalf of a foreign resident or other entities – this provides information on whether the vendor holds the property on behalf of a foreign resident, or on behalf of other entities that include a foreign resident. Select one of the following    
      • 'Yes' if the vendor holds the property on behalf of a foreign resident, or on behalf of other entities that include a foreign resident
      • 'No' if the vendor doesn’t hold the property on behalf of a foreign resident, or on behalf of other entities that include a foreign resident.
       

    Note: you must answer 'Yes' to this question if you intend to use the same clearance certificate for multiple properties, any of which you hold on behalf of a foreign resident or on behalf of other entities that include a foreign resident.

    The following options are presented at the end of the vendor details section:

    • Back – to return to the last screen that had been viewed
    • Print friendly version – to print the details that have been entered into the form
    • Next – to proceed to the application details section of the form

    4. Application details

    The application details provide more information about the vendor's application. This section is reached if the vendor answered:

    • 'Yes' to 'Has your residency status changed since your last tax return or will it change before you sell the property?'
    • 'No' to 'Have you lodged a tax return for the last two years?'

    The application details fields are:

    • If the entity type of the vendor is a company, the company detail fields will appear. This section requires a yes or no answer to establish residency status of the company    
      • *Is the company incorporated in Australia? If you answered No, the following questions will need to be answered    
        • *Does the company carry on business in Australia?
        • *Is the company's central management and control in Australia?
        • *Is the company's voting power controlled by shareholders who are residents in Australia?
         
       
    • If the entity type of the vendor is an individual, the individual detail fields will appear – Are you migrating and settling in Australia? Select Yes or No

    Note: Also answer 'Yes' if you have lived in Australia for the past three years, but you have not been required to lodge an income tax return in the last two years, for example, an aged pensioner.

    • *Are you an Australian returning to live in Australia? – select Yes or No
    • *Have you stayed, or do you intend to stay, in Australia for six months or more? – select Yes or No
    • *Do you have social or economic ties to a country other than Australia? – select Yes or No
    • *What is your main purpose for being in Australia? – select your main reasons for being in Australia
    • *Have you stayed or intend to stay in a particular place continuously for six months or more? – select Yes or No
    • *Where do you live while in Australia? – select where you live while in Australia
    • *Do you have a spouse and/or dependent children? – select Yes or No
    • *Where are your spouse and/or dependent children? – select where your spouse/dependent is living
    • *Where do you hold the majority of your assets? – select Australia or overseas
    • *Are you a member of any clubs, churches, community groups or organisations in Australia? – select Yes or No
    • *Have you been in Australia, either continuously or intermittently, for 183 days or more in the income year? – select Yes or No
    • *Is your usual place of abode outside of Australia? – select Yes or No
    • *Do you intend to take up residence in Australia? – select Yes or No
    • If the entity of the vendor is a trust, the trust detail fields will appear. This section requires a yes or no answer to establish residency status of the trust
      • *Is this a unit trust?
      • *Is any of the property of the trust situated in Australia?
      • *Is the trustee of the trust an Australian resident?
      • *Does the trust carry on business in Australia?
      • *Is the trust's central management and control in Australia?
      • *Do Australian residents hold more than 50% of the beneficial interests in the income of property of the trust?
       
    • If the entity of the vendor is a superannuation fund, the fund detail fields will appear. This section requires a yes or no answer to establish residency status of the fund
      • *Are you an Australian superannuation fund – select Yes, No or Uncertain
      • *Was the fund established in Australia or is any asset of the fund situated in Australia?
      • *Is the fund's central management in Australia?
      • *Did the fund have any members who were either
        • a contributor of the fund at that time?
        • an individual on whose behalf contributions have been made (unless the individual is a foreign resident, and who is not a contributor at the time, and for whom contributions made to the fund on their behalf after the individual became a foreign resident are only payments in respect of a time when the individual was an Australian resident)? – Select Yes or No.
         
      • *Do either of the following apply
        • at least 50% of the total market value of the fund’s assets attributable to superannuation interests held by active members is attributable to Australian residents?
        • at least 50% of the sum of the amounts that would be payable to, or in respect of, active members if they voluntarily ceased to be members is attributable to Australian residents? – Select Yes or No
         
       

    The following options are presented at the end of the application details section:

    • Back – to return to the last screen that had been viewed
    • Print friendly version – to print the details that have been entered into the form
    • Next – to proceed to the attachments section of the form

    5. Attachments

    You can electronically attach any documents you believe support the application for a clearance certificate.

    This may be relevant where:

    • your residency status changed since your last tax return or will change before you sell the property
    • you have not lodged a tax return for the last two years.

    You can attach more than one file and each file must be in .doc, .pdf or .gif format.

    The following options are presented at the end of the attachments section:

    • Back – to return to the last screen that had been viewed
    • Print friendly version – to print the details that have been entered into the form
    • Next – to proceed to declaration section of the form

    6. Declaration

    *Complete the declaration section of the form.

    There are two sections of the form to complete:

    • *the declaration
    • *declare you are not a robot – this field is required for system operational reasons.

    Once the relevant sections have been completed, you should submit the form.

    The following options are presented at the end of the declaration section:

    • Back – to return to the last screen that had been viewed
    • Print friendly version – to print the details that have been entered into the form
    • Submit – to submit the form

    7. Confirmation screen

    The confirmation screen confirms the clearance certificate application form has been successfully lodged.

    You should retain a copy of the form. Do this by selecting Print friendly version to save or print the application.

    What happens next

    We will process your application and notify you of the outcome. If required, we will contact you to resolve or clarify any information.

    If we give you a clearance certificate, you'll need to provide a copy to the purchaser on or before settlement.

    Last modified: 29 Jun 2017QC 49485