Loose-fill asbestos buyback concession scheme
In 2014, the ACT Government announced the Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme, offering to buy all ACT homes that loose-fill asbestos (Mr Fluffy) insulation affected. Under the scheme, the ACT Government is acquiring, demolishing and safely disposing of all impacted homes, correcting affected blocks and then reselling them to pay for the overall costs of the scheme.
Part of this eradication scheme is the Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Buyback Concession Scheme. If you’re an eligible homeowner and you hand over your affected block as part of the buyback program, you’re entitled to a duty concession under the scheme when you buy another home in the ACT.
The ACT Revenue Office oversees the scheme.
The Loose-Fill Asbestos Buyback Concession Scheme is available to all homeowners, including landlords, who meet the following eligibility criteria:
- you must be the legal title holder of an affected property as of 28 October 2014
- the ACT must have identified the property as containing loose-fill asbestos insulation
- you must, with some exceptions, have acquired the legal title to the property before 18 February 2014
- you must opt in to the buyback scheme and either hand over your Crown lease for the property or sell your unit to the ACT
- the new property to which the concession will be applied must have a transaction date on or after 18 February 2014 (the transaction date is the date of grant, transfer or agreement to transfer), or
- if the contract to purchase the new property has a transaction date before 18 February 2014, the contract must complete on or after 18 February 2014.
You’re also eligible if, on 18 February 2014, you didn’t own the affected property but had already entered into a contract to buy it, as long as the contract completed after 18 February 2014 and before 28 October 2014. Certain people with a financial interest in the affected property after 18 February 2014 may also be eligible - for example, if you inherited the property through a deceased estate or a family law transfer.
If you bought an affected property under a contract you entered into between 18 February 2014 and 28 October 2014, you may request special consideration from the head of the Asbestos Response Taskforce.
There’s one duty concession per household. You need to use the concession in one transaction to buy a property in the ACT.
You cannot divide the concession; we provide it to the property’s registered owner. If the property has more than one registered owner, you need the consent of all the other registered owners to use the concession.
You don’t have to use the duty concession on your next purchase of land in the ACT. If you’re planning to buy back your former affected property after the Government corrects the problem, you may want to hold on to the concession to do that even if you buy a new home in the meantime.
You can’t use the concession to buy property outside the ACT.
We cap the value of the concession at the value of the duty you would’ve paid on the property you’re handing over.
We calculate the duty concession at the rates that applied as of 28 October 2014. The maximum concession is equal to the amount of duty you’d owe if you had purchased the affected property on 28 October 2014 for an amount equal to the surrender sum – or, in the case of a unit, the purchase price.
We’ll calculate the duty due on the new property you’re buying at the rate that applies on the date of purchase.
You surrender your current home to the ACT Government for $600,000. The duty on a property of this value is $20,800. Now, say you want to buy a new property for $800,000; the duty on this home is $30,350. The concession applies to the lower duty amount: $20,800. To calculate the duty on the purchase of your new property, subtract the lower duty amount ($20,800) from the higher duty amount ($30,350). This means you’ll pay $9,550 duty on your new property.
You surrender your current home to the ACT Government for $700,000. The duty on a property of this value is $25,800. Now, say you want to buy a new property for $500,000; the duty on this home is $14,600. The concession applies to the lower duty amount: $14,600. This means you’ll pay no duty on the new property purchase, but you’ll still need to lodge documents for the ACT Revenue Office to stamp, and you won’t receive a refund of the difference.
How it works
The buyback scheme can work in one of three ways.
1. When you exchange on a new home before you exchange the deed of surrender for your affected home
In this case, duty is usually payable 90 days after exchanging the contract for sale. For off-the-plan agreements, duty must be paid within 14 days of whichever comes first, that is:
- the agreement is completed
- the purchaser transfers interest under the agreement
- it’s been a year since the date of the agreement, or
- a Certificate of Occupancy and Use has been issued.
If you want to exchange on a new property before you exchange the deed of surrender for your affected property (or before you sell your unit), you can apply to the ACT Revenue Office to postpone your duty payment.
Once you exchange the deed of surrender for the affected property, we can calculate the concession amount. You can then apply the concession during the settlement process of your new property.
2. When you settle on a new home before you exchange the deed of surrender for your affected home
If you want to settle on a new property before you exchange the deed of surrender for your affected property, you need to pay duty at the normal rate.
We’ll then calculate your concession entitlement when you exchange the deed of surrender on your affected property, and we’ll send you a refund once the surrender is complete.
3. When you exchange or settle on a new home after you exchange the deed of surrender for the affected home
When you’ve exchanged the deed of surrender for your affected property, you can present the exchanged deed to our office, complete the application form to access the concession and apply it to your new property purchase.
If you fail to complete the surrender of your home, you’ll have to pay back any concession to our office.
If on or after 18 February 2014 you’ve already settled and paid duty on a new home, we’ll also calculate your concession entitlement as part of the surrender process and refund you once the surrender of your affected property is complete.
If you owe the ACT Revenue Office any duty from a previous transaction, such as Deferred Duty, you need to repay it in full as part of the surrender process to be able to access the buyback concession scheme. You can either make these payments directly before you surrender your property, or we can deduct them from the surrender sum.
How to apply
To apply for the concession, complete the Asbestos Insulation Eradication Buyback Concession Scheme Application Form.
Post the completed application, along with a copy of the dated and signed deed of surrender, to:
ACT Revenue Office
PO Box 293
Civic Square ACT 2608.
You have a limited window to apply for the buyback scheme. The ACT Revenue Office must receive your completed application by the date the duty must be paid:
- within 90 days of the grant, transfer or agreement to transfer (whichever comes first) or
- for an off-the-plan agreement, within 14 days of whichever comes first – the agreement is completed, the purchaser transfers interest under the agreement, it’s been a year since the date of the agreement, or a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.
The ACT Revenue Office may require additional information to prove eligibility and process the application.