First Home Owner Grant

Changes for transactions dated on or after 1 September 2013

The First Home Owner Grant has been retargeted to new and substantially renovated properties, with the value of the grant being increased from $7,000 to $12,500.  From 1 September 2013, the First Home Owner Grant is no longer available for contracts entered into for the purchase of established properties.

In addition, the residency requirement for the First Home Owner Grant has been increased from 6 months to 12 months, commencing within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction.

Applications for transactions dated on or after 1 September 2013 must be completed on the corresponding 1 September 2013 First Home Owner Grant application form. Applications completed on earlier forms will not be accepted.

Description

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) Scheme was introduced on 1 July 2000 and provided a $7,000 grant to first home buyers to purchase their first home.  The FHOG scheme is fully funded by the ACT Government and administered by the ACT Revenue Office.

A first home owner grant cap applies for eligible transactions that commence on or after 1 January 2011.  The cap limits the total value of eligible properties (i.e. total value of home and land) to $750,000 or less.  This cap does not apply to eligible transactions that commenced before 1 January 2011.

An applicant may be eligible for a further first home owner grant if a grant for an eligible transaction that commenced on or after 1 January 2011 has been repaid, including any penalties and interest.  For details see Revenue Circular FHOG004.  However, if an applicant has been convicted of an offence under the Act in the ACT or a corresponding First Home Owner Grant Act in another jurisdiction an applicant is ineligible for a further grant in the ACT.

More detailed information regarding the FHOG can be found in the First Home Owner Grant – Lodgment Guide and Application Form (see link below).

New or substantially renovated properties

The First Home Owner Grant of $12,500 applies to new or substantially renovated properties for transactions dated on or after 1 September 2013, this includes:

• a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
• a substantially renovated home that, as renovated, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
• a property which is subject to an "off the plan" purchase agreement.

Limited time to Lodge an Application

An application for the FHOG must be lodged within the required timeframe.

For transactions entered into on or after 1 September 2013:

An application lodged with your approved agent may only be made within the period beginning on the commencement date of the eligible transaction to which the application relates (e.g. the date of exchange of contract) and ending one year after the completion of the eligible transaction to which the application relates (e.g. settlement or date of issue of the Certificate of Occupancy and Use).

An application lodged with the ACT Revenue Office may only be made within one year after completion of the eligible transaction to which the application relates.

Owner Builder’s can only lodge their application with approved agents and the ACT Revenue Office after the home has been completed.

For transactions entered into on or before 31 August 2013:

An application lodged, with either an approved agent or the ACT Revenue Office, may only be made within the period beginning on the commencement date of the eligible transaction to which the application relates (e.g. the date of exchange of contract) and ending one year after the completion of the eligible transaction to which the application relates (e.g. settlement or date of issue of the Certificate of Occupancy and Use).

The Commissioner has discretion to allow an application before or after the application period, if satisfied there are reasons or exceptional circumstances in which to do so.

When will the grant be paid

For transactions entered into on or after 1 September 2013:

For payment to be available at settlement or first draw down/progress payment you must lodge your application with an approved agent.

For applications lodged with the ACT Revenue Office, payment of the grant will be made within 10 working days of lodging a complete application, after completion of the eligible transaction.

For transactions entered into on or before 31 August 2013:

For complete applications lodged with an approved agent, payment will be made available at settlement or first draw down/progress payment.

Payment of the grant will be made within 10 working days of lodging a complete application with the ACT Revenue Office.

Application processing time

The standard timeframe for processing applications is 10 working days from the provision of all required documentation.  If you lodge an application, please wait 10 working days before contacting this office to check on the status of your application.

If you have lodged your application with an approved agent please contact them for status update in the first instance.

False or Misleading Information

Applicants for the First Home Owner Grant must ensure information contained in or in connection with their application is information they know to be true and correct in every particular.  If a grant is subject to conditions notified to applicants in writing, applicants must comply with the conditions or repay the grant if they are unable to comply.

Applicants who receive a grant to which they are not entitled, or who do not comply with the residency requirements, or who fail to comply with notification and repayment obligations may, in addition to repaying the grant, be subject to an administrative penalty of up to the amount of the grant, and payment of interest.  Applications are made on a self assessment basis.  Information supplied by applicants is generally compliance checked after the grant has been paid.

Relevant links

For the application forms and further information see the following: 

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