Tax Board to review granny flat arrangements

Following the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2017 Report into elder abuse and the Morrison Government’s commitment of $22 million to stop elder abuse, the Board of Taxation will next year review the tax treatment of granny flat arrangements.

Under current tax laws, a homeowner may have to pay capital gains tax where there is a formal agreement for a family member to reside in their home, which often acts as a deterrent to establishing legally enforceable contracts.

The review would consider and make recommendations on the appropriate tax treatment of such arrangements and would consider how changes could raise awareness and provide incentives for older people and their families to enter into formal and legal arrangements.

The Board would commence the review early next year, which would also involve broad consultation with stakeholders, and the final report is due to the Government in the second half of 2019.

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This is a welcome review. The current CGT implications mean many who enter into these sort of family care arrangements don't document them in any way - lest they be liable for tens of thousands of dollars in tax.

The inevitable result is that if there's any sort of family dispute (and who has a dispute-free family?), nobody is left with any agreements to provide guidance.

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