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  • Water Register

    You may need to register your interests in certain water entitlements or contractual water rights with the ATO if you're a:

    • foreign person
    • temporary resident
    • foreign non-resident.

    On this page:

    Who must register

    From 1 July 2017, foreign persons are required to register their interests in registerable water entitlements and contractual water rights on the ATO land and water register.

    The definitions of registrable water entitlement, contractual water, and foreign person in relation to irrigation infrastructure can be found in water entitlements terms and definitions.

    See also:

    When to register

    A foreign person or their agent may register at any time during the year (for example, when the event occurs). However, they must register no later than 30 days after the end of the financial year when the event occurred.

    You'll need to register your interest in a registrable water entitlement or a contractual water right with us, when:

    • you acquire a registrable water entitlement or contractual water right
    • you became a foreign person while holding a registrable water entitlement or contractual water right.

    How to register

    You register by completing a Land and water registration form. There is no cost involved in registering.

    You will need the following information to register:

    • reason for registration (agricultural land or residential real estate)
    • entity details
    • Foreign Investment Review Board approval number (if obtained)
    • water entitlement details
    • sector/usage details
    Land and water registration form instructions

    If your situation changes

    You will need to update your existing registration when:

    • you dispose of the registrable water entitlement or contractual water right
    • you stop being a foreign person
    • the volume of your registrable water entitlement or contractual water right changes.

    If you are unsure of when you're required to register, see the examples on the water entitlement terms and definitions page.

    Penalties and reporting breaches

    If you avoid your obligations to register or fail to keep your details up to date you may face administrative penalties under the Taxation Administration Act 1953. Application of the failure to lodge penalty under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 is outlined in PS LA 2011/19.

    If you have information about someone you think may be deliberately breaking our foreign investment rules, you can report it confidentially via the online form located on the Making a tip-off page.

    Contact us

    If you're unable to resolve an issue, you can phone or email us:

    If you require language assistance, contact the Translating and Interpreting Service:

    • 13 14 50 (within Australia)
    • +61 3 9268 8332 (from outside Australia).
    Last modified: 27 May 2020QC 52589