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Home exempt from land tax for "world-traveller"

Wednesday 21 September 2016

An individual has been successful before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in seeking the principal place of residence land tax exemption for his home located in Shoreham, Victoria, despite being a “world-traveller” whose wife lives overseas.

In 2003, the taxpayer was left the property in Shoreham in his mother’s will. After moving into the property, he continued his interest of overseas travel, meeting and marrying his now wife, who continues to live in Canada.

Broadly, for each of the five tax years in question, the taxpayer spent a couple of months in Australia at the property, with the balance spent mostly in Canada and other overseas destinations.

He submitted that he considered the Shoreham property his “home”, where he kept “all his personal treasures”, among other things.

He also noted “significant and communal family ties” in Victoria (including his three children and eight grandchildren in Melbourne) and “financial ties” to Australia.

In finding in favour of the taxpayer, VCAT said that in this day and age people are far more mobile than in the past, and it is not unreasonable that someone would have a base at a particular place to which they intend to return and resume occupation.

In this regard, the Tribunal was of the view that the land tax exemption applied to the taxpayer’s circumstances.

 

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