HomeBuilder Scheme 2020

The Federal Government recently announced the HomeBuilder scheme in an effort to boost Australia’s limping construction sector by providing eligible applicants $25,000 to put towards building a new home or the renovation of an existing one. The scheme is a tax-free grant and is estimated to directly support 140,000 jobs across the country.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Australian citizen aged 18 years or over;
  • Have an individual annual income below $125,000 or a combined income of less than $200,000 a year based on 2018-19 tax returns; and
  • Be an owner or occupier of the property nominated for the scheme.

Various criteria also apply to the property and renovation/building works:

  • If you are renovating an existing property, the value of the property must not exceed $1.5 million;
  • If you are renovating an existing property, you need to spend at least $150,000 on renovations;
  • If you are building a new property, it needs to be less than $750,00;
  • You need to have entered into a building contract with a licensed builder between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020; and
  • Construction must be scheduled to begin within three (3) months of the contract date.

The good news is that there are no prescribed dwellings – this means that all property types will be eligible for the scheme, including off the plan houses, apartments and house and land packages.

The bad news is that the grant can only be used to improve or renovate an area of your property that are closely connected to living spaces. Unfortunately, this excludes swimming pools and garages.

Can the HomeBuilder be Used in Conjunction with Other Grants?

The scheme will compliment stamp duty concessions, first home owner grant programs, the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

The scheme is particularly advantageous for first home buyers, who might be able to claim up to $50,000 through the following grants and schemes:

  • $15,000 for the first homeowner’s grant;
  • Up to $10,000 for the first Home Loan Deposit Scheme; and
  • $25,000 for the HomeBuilder scheme.

There are a few catches with the above, in that it only applies for homes up to a value of $750,000 and that eligibility for all other schemes and grants will need to be individually met.

How Do I Apply?

If you want to take advantage of this grant, you will need to apply through the Office of State Revenue. The requirements for applying for the grant will differ according to how you wish to use the grant.

Building a Home using the HomeBuilder Grant

If you are planning to use the HomeBuilder grant in order to build a new home, you will need to apply by 31 December 2020 and provide the below as supporting evidence:

  • A copy of the building contract dated between 4 June and 31 December 2020;
  • Registration Confirmation Statement or title search showing the applicants as registered owners on the title prior to completion of the contract;
  • Current council rates notice;
  • Evidence regarding land value;
  • ATO Notice of Assessment for 2018-2019 financial year or later for all applicants;
  • Evidence showing when construction commenced (must also include information regarding progress payment under the contract for laying of the foundations);
  • Proof of identification and Australian citizenship; and
  • A statement indicating reasons for any delays if construction was unable to start within the three months.

Buying a Home using the HomeBuilder Grant

If you are buying a new home or an off-the-plan home to live in and hope to use the HomeBuilder grant, you will need to apply by 31 December 2020 and provide the below as supporting evidence:

  • A copy of the contract dated between 4 June and 31 December 2020;
  • The Registration Confirmation Statement or title search showing the applicants as registered owners on the title;
  • ATO Notice of Assessment for 2018-2019 financial year or later for all applicants;
  • Evidence of when construction commenced (e.g. inspection certificate or statement from the developer);
  • Proof of identification and Australian citizenship; and
  • A statement indicating reasons for any delays if construction was unable to start within the three months.

Renovating a Home and HomeBuilder

  • A copy of the building contract dated between 4 June and 31 December 2020;
  • The Registration Confirmation Statement or title search showing the applicants as registered owners on the title prior to completion of the contract;
  • Current council rates notice;
  • Evidence regarding land value;
  • ATO Notice of Assessment for 2018-2019 financial year or later for all applicants;
  • Evidence showing when construction commenced (must also include the fist invoice issued for work under the renovation contract and receipts showing $150,000 has been paid to the builder);
  • Proof of identification and Australian citizenship; and
  • A statement indicating reasons for any delays if construction was unable to start within the three months.

The scheme is only available between 4 June and 31 December 2020. It is therefore important that you get your affairs in order promptly so that you do not miss out. Further, all supporting evidence needs to be provided by 31 October 2022. The Office of State Revenue has indicated that they will not accept documents after this date.

If you need assistance with the drafting of contracts or preparing your application and would like to speak to an experienced lawyer, please contact our office on 07 3876 5111 for an obligation free consultation.

Written by

Kayleigh Whittaker, Associate

NB Lawyers – Lawyers for Employers
kayleighw@nb-lawyers.com.au
07 3876 5111

About the author

Kayleigh Whittaker is an Associate on our Commercial and Property team who assists with Employment Law matters. With a high level of experience in commercial and retail leasing, voluntary and involuntary purchase and sale acquisitions property development and employee relations, Kayleigh provides practical advice to ensure smooth business transactions.

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