Caution to "couples"! Is your relationship recognised by the HomeBuilder Grant?

04 September 2020

Are you a couple intending on applying for the HomeBuilder Grant? Be sure to read the fine print to avoid getting snubbed on your homeowner dreams.

The Queensland Office of State Revenue (OSR) recently released an administrative direction which qualifies the eligibility of couples for the HomeBuilder Grant.

Are we eligible?

To apply for the Grant as a couple, you need to satisfy the following general eligibility criteria:

  1. You are the registered owners of the land – either at the contract date or by the settlement date depending on the type of contract;
  2. You are both Australian citizens over 18 years of age;
  3. Neither of you have previously received the Grant – unless the Grant was paid back because your contract fell over;
  4. Your annual taxable income for 2018–19 or 2019-20 is below $200,000.00 cumulatively;
  5. You will occupy your property for 6 months continuously after settlement; and
  6. You are spouses as at the Contract Date.

But we are a couple, right?

While you might be a couple, you may fall short of what the OSR requires. For the purposes of the grant “spouses” are defined as two people who are either:

  1. legally married;
  2. in a registered domestic relationship (i.e. civil partnership); or
  3. living as a de facto couple on a genuine domestic basis for at least 2 years.

Whether you live together on a “genuine domestic basis” is determined by factors such as the length of your cohabitation, degree of common property ownership, degree of financial interdependence and more. 

There is an exception to the rule for de facto couples that have been living apart if the OSR is satisfied that you:

  1. are living apart from each other at the Contract Date and would otherwise meet the criteria for being each other’s spouse; and
  2. intend on living together again as a couple on a genuine domestic basis.

Note: you will not fall under this exception if the OSR does not consider you meet the criteria for being each other’s spouse before the Contract Date.

If you are planning on purchasing and/or building a property using the HomeBuilder Grant and have questions about your eligibility, please contact Patrick Sherlock or Matthew Shannon for advice.

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Matthew Shannon, Partner
(07) 3307 4506
mshannon@shandtaylor.com.au

Patrick Sherlock, Senior Associate
(07) 3307 4542
psherlock@shandtaylor.com.au

 

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